The HomeSchool

Association of California

Symposium Speakers


Roya Dedeaux, now 28, was pulled out of school when she was 10 years old, and was unschooled from that day on.

She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, where she has been enjoying hiking, exploring Hollywood and keeping up her blog

Roya has a M.S. in Counseling and a B.A. in Recreation and Leisure Studies. She is a Marriage and Family Therapist intern, with a private practice in Los Alamitos, and offers email coaching for homeschoolers. Her therapy website is

Roya specializes in art therapy, and has spent most of her life crocheting, knitting, making journals, collaging, and following other artistic pursuits. She is a regular columnist in The Homeschooler magazine, where she writes about creativity and children. Roya is an adjunct professor in the Recreation Department at California State University Long Beach. And, Roya sells her hand-crocheted jewelry at


Sandra Dodd lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband Keith and her daughter Doozy (21, formerly known as Holly), who is involved in the local art and music scene.Sandra's son Marty (24) moved out with his girlfriend Ashlee last summer, four miles away to "the old house,  where the family lived in when the kids were younger.  He works at Target, and is taking history and math classes. Her oldest son, Kirby, lives in Austin, Texas and just turned 27. He has worked for six years at Blizzard Entertainment, which owns World of Warcraft and some other games. They were unschooled all their lives.

Sandra is a former English teacher whose other jobs have all involved words and ideas, too.  Her avocation has become helping other parents find ways to live more richly and joyfully and peacefully with their children. She is the author of "Moving a Puddle" and "Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling."Sandra's website is the starting place for a great deal of her collection of writings, notes, examples, and great quotes collected from 15 years of online discussions.  There are sound files, a few videos, and blogs you can subscribe to, all free and fun.


Joanna Murphy began testing unschooling ideas in 2001, when her oldest child came out of school halfway through first grade, with her husband and two kids: Joshua, now 18 and Caroline (14). She tried a few different flavors and finally plunged into radical unschooling after seeing some grown unschooled people who looked and sounded normal and were leading all kinds of interesting and unique lives. She doesn’t get how you can live an unschooled life and have it not extend all the way out to the tippy tips. She works part time and is a passionate equestrienne, an interest now shared, to Joanna’s great joy, with her daughter. One of Joanna’s favorite things to do is to think, and sometimes talk and write, about learning, unschooling and personal growth.


Rose Sorooshian was always unschooled. She is now 22 years old and a student at California State University Northridge where she is a senior majoring in Deaf Studies. Rose loves to watch and play sports, especially soccer. She holds a black belt in Kung Fu and has been an instructor at her martial arts studio since she was 15 years old. She also participates in a variety of intramural sports, including ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, softball, volleyball, and football, as a member of Delta Zeta sorority. She enjoys working with children and worked as sports director at a camp for Deaf children over the summer. Rose is an avid game player - both tabletop games and video games, and is also an avid television fan. She has given a lot of thought to the benefits of both gaming and television watching.


Pam Sorooshian is the mom of three grown-up unschooled kids: Roya (28), Roxana (26), and Rose (22). She is also an economics and statistics professor and she runs the college theater box office. Her family lives in Southern California and she is on the Board of Directors of the HomeSchool Association of California. Pam, and her husband, Cyrus, pulled Roya out of 4th grade, Roxana out of 1st grade, and never sent Rose to school at all. That was 19 years ago and they spent about a month thinking "unit studies" were a good idea before jumping fully into unschooling. Pam has been a frequent participant in online unschooling discussions and has spoken at unschooling conferences all over the country. She thinks it is interesting that her children are making surprisingly conventional adult choices considering their very unconventional upbringing. In spite of, or maybe because of, their unschooling backgrounds, they have excelled as college students and have received many academic honors, awards, and scholarships. To Pam, unschooling means creating a peaceful, safe, and loving home life with many opportunities for exploration, invention, investigation, and conversation. It means very involved parents who pay close attention to supporting their children's interests. It means joy and closeness and a very special, and very sweet, parent/child relationship.

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