The Ivybrook Way – Wilmington, NC

Kids drawing

The Ivybrook Way – Wilmington, NC

Kids drawing ​Ivybrook Academy’s dedicated team of educators is proud to provide a strong foundation of lifelong learning for children in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the surrounding coastal area. The cognitive development in a child’s early years is crucial to their learning abilities as they grow. Expert research shows the significance of early childhood education, which is why there is a growing need for pre-schools that value and nurture children’s natural curiosity.

Ivybrook Academy provides a hybrid curriculum through an award-winning half-day Preschool. We believe our customized educational approach is important to support children’s diverse learning styles. We want to see children succeed on their own terms, honoring and valuing each child’s own voice. Our curriculum includes Collaborative Learning, Montessori tailored Individualized Learning Groups, Reggio Emilia inspired project work, and our Discovery Program.

Discover how the “Ivybrook Way” establishes the foundation for a child’s future success.

Ivybrook Curriculum


This 100-year-old approach to learning allows children to take the lead directing their education and choosing their tasks. It is a highly respected technique among families and educators because it encourages a child’s lifelong love of learning.

Developed by Italian physician Dr. Maria Montessori, the premise recognizes that children have innate preferences, and it’s important to allow a child to learn at their own pace. Children must be allowed to exercise their curiosity and sense of discovery.

Rather than a teacher taking the lead, students choose hands-on projects in the creatively prepared classroom environment. Students may work alone or with friends, all the while receiving guidance from teachers. Children take whatever time they need to complete their work and meet their individual goals.

Reggio Emilia

The Reggio Emilia approach is similar to Montessori as it enables children’s progress on their own terms, in student-led classrooms. This is a more collaborative style, inviting students, their families, and teachers to be a part of a child’s education. Peer interaction is the pillar of this progressive teaching method. It’s about respecting children’s individual voices and celebrating their unique expressions.

Reggio Emilia founder, Loris Malaguzzi, believed that expression should be conveyed, by a child, in any number of ways. In fact, it is believed that there are “a hundred languages” children use to communicate, like writing, art, or singing. Children are encouraged to express their discoveries and ideas with their community through various means, like painting, sculpting, music, storytelling, and theater, to name a few. It is believed that by empowering children to have a voice and express it freely, they confidently discover their talents.

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

The basis of this educational approach is that there is not a single type of intelligence that focuses solely on cognitive abilities. Researched by Harvard University professor Dr. Howard Gardner, it is believed that intelligence comes in many different forms in every human being. This is a relatively new approach to education, as Gardner’s theory was published in 1983. Everyone’s mind is different; therefore, everyone will learn, remember, perform, and comprehend uniquely. Adapting a curriculum to cater to a child’s best ability to learn will allow them to thrive. It crushes the “one size fits all” mentality of education because it shows how individual children excel at different subjects and skills.

These three progressive educational theories are put into action through Ivybrook Academy’s balanced curriculum, further exemplifying our commitment to customizing the learning experience for each child. We understand how critical early education is for a young child’s future growth. We believe with the inclusion of parents, teachers, and the community, a child will thrive when their individual learning style is identified, encouraged, and respected.

At Our Core is a Philosophy of Respect and Collaboration

These interrelated components provide children with the tools necessary to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live. Our learning community believes in a strong partnership between families and committed educators. This allows children the opportunity to embrace the world around them, gaining insight and exploration relating to social interaction with both peers and adults. We provide classroom settings that allow students to explore, create, solve problems, and work with others collaboratively. We embrace a child’s natural curiosity and cultivate that through careful listening and support. We value students’ individual voices, and we cultivate compassionate citizens who find joy in learning.