The days before summer at Waldorf

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The following is a first-person account of Waldorf education from a Waldorf alumnus, Shane Alexander. To learn about the difference between Waldorf and Montessori schools, read our comparison guide. You can also read our guide to Waldorf preschools.

From the first day of school it's the day that everyone looks forward to. Kids, Teachers alike. Maybe the parents, not so much, but I know the kids did for sure. They took everyday in. Appreciated it. Went through the yearly motions of the tests, field trips, sick days, snow days, late nights studying for this one day of the year.


The last day of the year. The beginning of summer vacation.

At Waldorf, we had a few things to look forward to before the big day of Freedom. The prom where the whole high school was invited to. The grade 12 play. The class trip. It brought the class together knowing that most of us would be going our separate ways for the next few months and maybe not returning for the following year. We were a close bunch. The last days meant a lot to us.

In Grade 12 however, the last days were even more special. As part of the Grade 12 curriculum, we had something called the Self Main Lesson. It was focused on the ideals, philosophies and concepts of our fierce leader, Rudolf Steiner. Two weeks learning about Steiner, the reasons why Waldorf education works and of course, looking within to find some answers have have questioned over our high school career. The last week of the Main Lesson we do something called the Self Circle. It's when we reveal our thoughts and feelings about our classmates. This could be easy. Sometimes, it was. Sometimes it wasn't.

The first day my class went through the whole circle, our teacher supervising the whole experience put a couple of tissue boxes in the center of the circle. We never thought we would need them. Ha. We did. Two people in, the tears started to pour down. The simplicity of what could've been something so pleasant and heartwarming became something so hard and emotional. And it wasn't expected, at all. We heard the stories. How hard it was for others. But that was them. Their class. My class was tougher than that. Tighter than that. The Circle beat us, too.

After we got through the dreaded Circle, we had Grad and then the class trip. Every year around this time, I tend to think back to those days. Think that those were some of the best days of my life. That summer was a blast, too.

Congrats to the new graduates of the world. May you progress and move to the next level of your life with confidence and power, however, don't ever forget the people that helped you get you there...

—Shane Alexander
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Toronto, Ontario
Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
 
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"Smaller class sizes and our unique curriculum - infused with arts, movement, outdoor education - allow deeper connections across subjects, at all developmental stages. Waldorf education is “schooling with heart"." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $21,700 to $24,700
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Waldorf Academy 21700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Calgary, Alberta
 
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"Calgary Waldorf School’s rich and engaging curriculum carefully balances academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate intelligence and encourage creativity." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 9 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $3,890 to $14,850
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Calgary Waldorf School 3890 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Burlington, Ontario
Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
 
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"Halton Waldorf School offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Located on five forested acres, the school has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education. Est 1984" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $14,360 to $19,360
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Halton Waldorf School 14360 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
 
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"NOW WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; Waldorf
  • $15,500 to $17,500
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Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Thornhill, Ontario
Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
 
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"Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics, arts and movement while addressing the intellectual, physical, emotional and social aspects of child development from preschool to gr. 12." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $18,000 to $21,000
  • Day school
  • 360 students
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Toronto Waldorf School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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