Waldorf grads pass the test

The verdict? It was too short

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Seasickness, vertigo and a staggering lack of sleep: Grade 8 students at the Waldorf Academy, a Waldorf school, in Toronto, Ontario, won't soon forget their class trip. The verdict? It was too short.


The graduating class spent a week in June aboard the Tall Ship STV Pathfinder - followed immediately by a week-long canoe trip on the French River.

The challenges, they say, were all part of the adventure.

"Words can't describe it; it was really incredible," says Sasha Singer-Wilson. "I was really seasick on the boat, but I never thought, Oh, my God - I don't want to be here!' It was always I can get through this.'"

Devin Monajem, 14, has vivid memories of working the graveyard watch on the Pathfinder - in some pretty heavy weather. "The last day on the Tall Ship, we had a bit of a storm. The bowsprit was going under the water and it was just rocking. I had the 12-to-4 (a.m.) watch - it was brutal."

Classmate Alley Maczka-Adams also had a few tense moments in the middle of the night.

"I'm a diabetic, so it was kind of hard; I'd have to check my blood at 4 o'clock in the morning. But I was on this trip and I was having fun and I wasn't going to let anything stop me. It was just so cool," she says. "I could do it again for another two weeks."

Back on land, during the last week of school, the classmates pointed to the thrill of mastering something new.

"When the ship is rocking and rocking and you're up there pulling on all the lines and getting the sails down, it was really invigorating," recalls Catherine Thompson-Walsh. "You're doing something that helps the ship go and that was a lot of fun.

"When you overcome things it was like, Wow. I didn't think I could do that.' It's really inspiring."

Teacher John Bentley says the trip was all the more meaningful given the fact that Waldorf classes stay together through the years, and many in this group have been classmates since kindergarten.

"Not that some weren't homesick or desperately wet or sore. But they really wanted to continue the process that had just begun to crack - which was that they really began to know each other on a new and different level," he says.

"And knowing each other so well to begin with, that may sound strange. But suddenly they were able to mesh in a very deep way."

—Mary Haynes
To learn about the difference between Waldorf and Montessori schools, read our comparison guide. You can also read our guide to Waldorf preschools.
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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
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
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
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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