I am going to take the time today to personally answer your question fully, even though it does require a very time-consuming response!
The reason I am willing to drop everything to answer this post is because there is no more important question than the Biblical goals of our guides and the Biblical philosophy of our company. Over the past several weeks, I have responded in great detail to several other broad philosophy type questions you've asked, and I have been glad to do it!
However, as I answer this last particular question, I am also going to encourage you to dig deeply within the board as an excellent source for finding answers to broad questions. I personally have over 5,500 posts on the board by myself!
So, it is not impossible to figure out what our philosophy is in many areas if you're willing to do some digging.
Philosophy type questions as a rule tend to be very broad, which is why I answered your first question in this thread in a broader sense. With your follow-up question now, it would appear you were actually originally looking for more specifics, mainly on missions and evangelizing, which I am now going to give you below.
As you ponder whether HOD is right for your family, I'd encourage you to read widely from the breadth of information that is already available on our board, in our catalog, and on our website. There is so much there, and I think it will help you as you ponder what you're looking for for your own family. I can see that you are searching, and I will let you know that finding the answers will not happen in a matter of weeks or even months.
My own educational philosophy has changed much over the last 20+ years of my teaching career. It is only in the last 5 years that I have truly felt very solid about my philosophy in all areas, and I continue to fine-tune even that as I age!
I will say a prayer for the Lord to be near you as you search. He knows your heart and will help you find what you are seeking.
At HOD, we begin by grounding kiddos in the Word and forming a strong foundation for their faith, because it is so true that kiddos cannot give away what they do not have. With the alarming statistics today of the number of children from Christian homes who stray from the Church once they reach adulthood, it's more important than ever to saturate our children in God's Word and to help them develop a deep and lasting relationship with their Savior. We also need to guide our kiddos to apply the Bible to their lives in the day-to-day and to talk often about what that looks like. This is why we focus so much on how our children's character should reflect Jesus living in them, as having others see Jesus in you is one way of evangelizing to others.
Another follow-up of having a close walk with Christ is a desire to share His Word with those you meet. So, this is a progression of how we see envangelizing and missions fitting in with our children's growing faith, and why we begin so strongly with God's Word and a personal faith in the early years. It is what we continue to build upon brick by brick in each subsequent guide.
It's also important to note that the story of the spread of the Gospel begins with Jesus and continues with the Apostles. So, the story of the spread of the early church is an answer to the Great Commission of going into all the world and spreading the Good News of the Gospel. This is something we also focus on in our guides to give students wonderful, and human, examples of how to share their faith with others.
In LHFHG, we read many stories from the Bible that show the spread of the Gospel. We also read stories of missionaries and church leaders who evangelized like Boniface, Polycarp, Moody, and others. In Beyond and Bigger Hearts we focus strongly on how students can live for Jesus and what that means. We work on hiding God's Word in their hearts and applying it to their lives. We look at the lives of both historical and Biblical figures and measure their thoughts, words, and deeds according to God's Word. We also measure our own thoughts, words, and deeds through memorizing and applying Proverbs. Through the study, we see the need for a Savior, and how our life should look different from others if we believe in Him.
As we move into Preparing Hearts, we weave the Biblical Story of Redemption told through Grandpa's Box throughout the telling of world history. After reading about Christ's great sacrifice for us on the cross, we then move into Hero Tales
and the need for modern missions. Each missionary story is scheduled to correspond with the history of the country and the people being evangelized. A study of the Psalms brings students into memorable contact with Psalms that apply to every part of life. The inductive study of Genesis 1 - 11 shows God's plan for our salvation in spite of our sinfulness.
Within CTC, we move fully into the spread of the Gospel through Christ's ministry and life on earth. We have students read all of Luke, John, and Acts and read firsthand how the Gospel was spread after Christ's resurrection. A Child's Geography: Explore the Holy Land
also is firmly focused on understanding the culture and history of each country and modern missions there, with students praying for the spread of the Gospel in each country. Books like Traveling the Way,The Accidental Voyage, Twice Freed
, and Ben Hur
, along with Diana Waring's CD's also focus on how early Christians shared their faith with others and stood firm in their faith in times of trial and persecution. A final project in CTC has students making a version of a wordless book, used to share their faith with others through the colors and what they mean.
RTR includes the stories of the lives of those who spread the Gospel through the early church in the books Peril and Peace
and Monks and Mystics
. Famous Men of the Middle Ages
and Mystery of History III
also share the lives of other early missionaries and those who spread the Gospel. Books within RTR like Forbidden Gates, Morning Star of the Reformation, Mr. Pipes, A Piece of the Mountain, The Tinker's Daughter, From Bondage to Freedom, the Story of Albrecht Durer, The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt by Day, Voyage to Freedom
, and Robert Boyle
all deal with the spread of the Gospel by word of mouth and later through a translation of the Bible from Latin into a language the common man could read.These became the cornerstone for modern missions. As students study Paul's letter to the Philippians, they grow in understanding how to face suffering and persecution with faith, and why it should be no surprise when suffering comes. However, it also teaches that joy in the Lord transcends all suffering. Diana Waring's audios continue to illuminate the spread of the Gospel and God's hand in history. A final project in RTR, guides students in making a flapbook of the steps for sharing their faith with someone else. It has Scriptures listed in sequence to guide them through the key verses of why faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved.
Our new guide Revival to Revolution shares how the era of social reform led to new types of missions. Near the end of this time, the growth of modern missions begins. Stories of those who spread the Gospel during this time are included through Hands and Hearts
and also through full-length biographies of Amy Charmichael and David Livingstone. Other missionaries are included through the readings of the history books found in the Reading About History box of the plans. Our study of the book of Hebrews and of the lives of those listed in the faith chapter guides students in developing a deeper faith and discovering why God chose the men and women in that chapter for us to learn from about faith. We also will work through Who Is God?
in order to help students view the world through a Biblical lens. All of these pieces work together to allow students to better give away their faith! And Diana Waring's audios show the world's need for it, and God's work that is being done. As our guides continue to be released, we will continue to interweave the stories of evangelizing and missionaries within their corresponding historical context and time period.
Being a missionary in a foreign place is a special calling that only God can provide, and the Bible is full of examples of those whom He fully equipped to answer His call. Yet, others of us are called instead to share our faith where we are planted. Our lives may not be so extraordinary, but our salvation through Christ is!
So, while our guides make sure to include the spread of the Gospel through modern missions, our guides are also full of people who answered the Great Commission through their music, or speaking, or painting, or writing, or teaching, or financial resources, or science, or making maps, or building roads, or writing poetry, or singing, or composing, or sketching, or printing, or inventing, and the list goes on. It is our goal to show students that God calls each of us to a different role, and yet all of us are to be a witness for Him through whatever means in which He chooses to equip us.