Sagebooks Challenge

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.

For our 14th week, we spent most of it going through Treasure Box Set 1 and starting Set 2 of the Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500 series.


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 14: BOOK 2.1:5 and Treasure Box Set 1*

I wasn’t sure how we long it would take, but I intended for Glow Worm to finish, at the very least, reading the other four books of the Treasure Box Set 1. If there was time left (or, let’s be honest, interest), I would shoot for going through 5 lessons in the first book of Set 2.


Glow Worm exceeded my expectations. He breezed through the other readers easily (with only the occasional stumble) and he was very excited to do so. Plus, he learned up to Book 2.1:8.


As usual, we did most of the reading while waiting at kungfu class. When I miss a few days during the week, I usually try to cram them in on the weekends at home. Since it doesn’t currently take more than 5 minutes, this works out nicely.


One of the benefits to having older children is occasionally, they want to help and teach Glow Worm instead of doing whatever they should be doing instead. Cookie Monster (8) especially likes to help out and because he sat down with Glow WormGamera (6) also insisted on teaching Glow Worm. Unfortunately, Glow Worm was all done learning by that point!


Here’s a video of Glow Worm reading Set 2 Book 1 Lesson 7-8.


Glow Worm now no longer wants to review lessons and just wants to speed through and move on. This is unfortunate because he really does not remember the many of the harder characters from Set 1 Book 5, and he definitely does not remember many of the characters from the first part of Set 2 Book 1. Somehow, I have to figure out a way to trick him and review those characters beyond just reading the passages again. It really upsets him!

Some Observations

Glow Worm is my first child going through Sagebooks without having a large foundation of character recognition, I never experienced my older children being as excited and proud of themselves as Glow Worm gets. If this isn’t a ringing endorsement to purchase the Treasure Box Sets, I don’t know what is. He was able to read all five books by himself with relative ease. He was so confident and I could see him puffing up in pride.

Sagebooks Challenge Application

Our 4 month Sagebooks Challenge is in the last month and I’m both amazed at how far Glow Worm has come and comforted that it really just is as simple and as hard as consistently plodding through the lessons on an almost daily basis. And that if you fall off the wagon, to just get back on. It’s ok if there are setbacks because it’s a long road. That both gives me relief as well as pressure – but overall, I’m very happy to see such quantifiably immediate results.

Are you following along with the weekly activities on the Sagebooks HK Blog? Have you checked out our accountability posts on the Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group? If not, what are you waiting for?

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.