"'How can I possibly teach my child about nature - why, I don't even know one bird from another!'
I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel.
If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil.
Once the emotions have been aroused - a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love - then we wish for knowledge about the object of our emotional response.
Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate."
Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder