For guidance on the best starting point for an individual student in a homeschool or one-on-one setting, read on.
If you are planning an implementation for a classroom or school, visit our School Quote Builder for guidance on placement options and to see pacing suggestions, implementation notes, and materials for each grade. The placement guidance below may be helpful as well.
For children age 4-7, we recommend Foundations. Most children start at Level A, but for some children who are already reading, starting at B will be a better fit. If you think B might be the right starting point for your student, see the Starting Foundations with B Assessment.
For children who are 8, either Foundations or Essentials may be used. Which one will be a better fit depends on the child's interests, personality, energy level, and reading skills, as Essentials lessons are designed for older students while Foundations lessons are more playful and designed to appeal to young children. To learn more, see What's the difference between Foundations and Essentials on the LOE Blog.
For students age 9 to adult, we recommend Essentials, starting with Units 1-7 (or with the optional Pre-Lessons that come with 1-7). This includes struggling readers, strong readers who struggle with spelling, and proficient readers and spellers who want to gain a deeper understanding of how written English works and why English words are spelled the way they are. We recommend adding the Essentials Reader program for any struggling readers, and The Rhythm of Handwriting if handwriting instruction is needed.
What's the difference? To learn more about the similarities and differences between the two programs, see What's the difference between Foundations and Essentials on the LOE Blog.
Essentials Levels: For guidance on whether the Level A, B, or C Spelling Lists are the best fit for your Essentials student, see the Essentials Placement Test (found in the Essentials 1-7 Teacher's Guide or on our website here). You do not need to know which level of application will be best for your student before ordering, as all three levels are included within each lesson and the Placement Test in the introduction will help you determine the right fit.
Early Readers: For tips on starting Foundations with a child who is already reading independently and adjusting the pace to increase the level of challenge, see Starting Foundations with a child who can read on the Logic of English blog.
Foundations A or B? If you are trying to decide between Foundations A and B as the starting point for your student, see the Starting Foundations with B Assessment. See also: It's my school's first year. Where do I start my first graders?