The homeschool community has suffered a great loss this week. Debra Strayer, homeschool mother, author, and mentor to many, died unexpectedly in Alabama Saturday night. She and Greg had just finished serving at the homeschool convention where she was invited to speak. They were excited to celebrate their anniversary with reservations for Sunday night to stay at the hotel where they spent their honeymoon. Instead Greg drove home to Tampa alone on Sunday.
Debbie Strayer was my friend and had a passion for promoting a Biblical approach to education in the homeschool movement. Debbie spent her last days doing what she loved, encouraging homeschoolers at the Alabama Homeschool Expo last Friday and Saturday.
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again,
and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. John 16:22
Debbie is walking with Christ, surrounded by His glory. Her family–Greg, Nathan, and Ashley–and friends will greatly miss her. I’m sure Debbie would want us to take the unexpectedness of her death as a reminder to evaluate our time and goals on earth and remember Psalms 90:12:
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
From an article by Debbie, No One Knows
…Today, or in the coming days, you will have a chance to encourage someone. It probably won’t be a big deal at the time, but someday you will have the chance to hear the impact of your heart and words. Even if it is only a smile, take the time to share what God gives you to share, because no one knows how powerfully He will use your offering…except the Lord.
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Debbie and I spoke at the same curriculum fairs in the 1990s. We are both from Florida, both wrote curriculum, and both wrote articles for homeschool magazines. Last year we began a dialog with concern of classical education’s focus. She explained to me she was doing research and asked for some of my documents on the subject. I regret we won’t be talking again until heaven.
Debbie and I stayed in touch via email and Facebook. A few weeks ago few we chatted on Facebook about the Biblical Holidays book (she was adding to her”next level curriculum”). Debbie was devoted to equipping and encouraging homeschoolers with a focus on Bible and building thinking skills.
Debbie was very close to and mentored by one of my favorite authors Ruth Beechick. She is the former editor and co-founder of Homeschooling TodayTM magazine, the author of Gaining Confidence to Teach, one of the co-authors of the Learning Language Arts through Literature series and editor of The Homeschool Answer Book by Dr. Ruth Beechick. She more recently partnered with Josh and Cindy Wiggers of Geography Matters.
Here are a few of her lovely, encouraging articles from Heart of the Matter Online:
- The Heartstrings of Homeschooling
- No One Knows
- Raising a Life Long Learner
- The Frustration of Perfectionism
- Safety From the Tidal Wave of Overachievement
- Chosen to Bear Fruit
- Lord, I Want to Report a Theft!
- Getting My Attention…The Lesson of the Beach
Debbie is co- author with Linda Fowler of the The Trail Guide to Learning series (studies for grades 3 through 8) based on proven educational principles, and fully utilizes methods developed by noted author and educator, Dr. Ruth Beechick. This curriculum guides you in what to teach, and how to make the most of the precious homeschooling years.