Author’s Note: Sagebooks HK is sponsoring The Sagebooks Challenge as we chronicle Glow Worm (4) and I going through their series for the first time. I am also guest posting on their Sagebooks HK Blog where I will be providing a time tested tip and a fun activity to help support you and your child as you go through the sets.

Our 12th week learning Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500 series with Glow Worm (4) coincided with Spring Break. Oops.


Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500 is a series of 5 sets of 5 books that teach your children how to read the top 500 high frequency characters in children’s books. You can find out more here.


I am an ABC/T and speak Mandarin 85% of the time to my four children (8, 6, 4, 1). My husband, Hapa Papa, only speaks English. We homeschool bilingually in Chinese and English and my older two children have already gone through the Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500. Glow Worm, (4) currently knows about 50 characters and this is the first time we are going through Sagebooks. He currently splits time between two Chinese preschools for 3 hours a day, 4 days a week.

GOAL FOR WEEK 12: BOOK 1.5:14*

Despite it being Spring Break and me forgetting several days in a row, we still hit our goal for the week.


As I mentioned, it was Spring Break so our schedule was completely thrown off and Glow Worm (4) had to remind me several times to read Sagebooks with him. Bless this little boy.


Since my older children were in camp during the mornings and our kungfu class was also on break (we usually go over Sagebooks as we wait for Cookie Monster and Gamera), I was NOT on top of things. However, when I finally remembered to do Sagebooks with Glow Worm when the older kids were at camp, we did well. It helped that a few of the characters were familiar to him since he learned them in his other classes.


Look at how proud Glow Worm is of himself!

Finally! We have moved on to new lessons captured on video. Here’s a video of Glow Worm reading Set 1 Book 5 Lesson 13.


The main difficulty was the change in schedule. I know I’ve mentioned it before many a time, but it bears repeating. We do our best when we follow a set routine. Any deviation spells disaster for our consistency because we associate reading Sagebooks with certain times and places. When those cues are gone, I totally forget.

Glow Worm kept reviewing the last few lessons of the previous book. I noticed that he likes doing that especially because he feels as if he is finishing a book every time. It’s cute.

He has retained a few more characters, but cannot remember 得/de5/structural particle/ and 可/ke3/be willing to/ because they are so abstract and don’t really have a tangible meaning for children to grasp. However, he

Glow Worm was also having trouble with two more abstract characters: 就/jiu4/with regard to/ and 把/ba3/hold, grasp, handle/. I suspect these particular words will take a few weeks before he kept forging ahead so that’s good.

Some Observations

Glow Worm is such an earnest kid. He really wants to learn how to read and I think that makes all the difference. This week, he offered to read if I would read other books to him first. As I went through the picture books, he was so proud of himself for identifying the characters he was learning and that made me so happy. I’m amazed at how close we are to finishing this set – and it’s only been three months. That’s not too shabby!

Sagebooks Challenge Application

Even though we’re closing out our third month doing the challenge, that doesn’t mean that you can’t join in. If you’ve just gotten your books, you can jump in with us at any point.

Have you tried any of the weekly activities on the Sagebooks HK Blog or checked out our accountability posts on the Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group. Come join us!

See you all next week.

* I refer to the Sagebooks in this formula: Set#.Book#:Chapter#. So, if I am referring to the first set, book 3, and characters 14-16, it looks like: Book 1.3:14-16.