Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500

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.

Can you believe it’s our 9th week going through the Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500 series with Glow Worm (4)?

This week, we were very consistent about doing our daily readings and though we did not hit the goal I set for ourselves, I think Glow Worm remembered a lot of characters he missed before.


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.


I thought that since we did so well despite missing some days last week, we would keep up the same clip. I was wrong.


Despite faithfully going through the books every week day, I think Glow Worm’s brain was busy synthesizing the characters we had trouble with before and therefore, full. Very little headway was made. We ended up at 1.4:9 – only TWO characters beyond where we left off last week.


Glow Worm kept asking me about his 小書/xiao3 shu/little books/ because he really enjoys reviewing the lessons and going through the books. I think we managed to go over the lessons in the car a few times as well as once at kungfu and once a home. This week was really haphazard and I regretted forgetting the books a few times when we were out and about.


This week, we get Sasquatch (1) pretending he can read Sagebooks. I find it hilarious that he experiences such FOMO when I go over the books with Glow Worm that he MUST have a book of his own. He even flips through and “reads.” Now, if I can just keep up the illusion that it’s super fun when it’s his turn, I’ll have succeeded. Glow Worm still thinks it’s fun, so I guess I’m not doing too bad on that front!

Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500

Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500

Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500

Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500

Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500

This is Glow Worm reading an excerpt from Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500 Set 1 Book 3 Lesson 17 and 18.

This is Glow Worm reading an excerpt from Sagebooks HK Basic Chinese 500 Set 1 Book 4 Lesson 5.


Glow Worm really wanted to review this week. He just was not into learning new characters and preferred to review Book 1.3 a LOT – especially the harder characters near the end. That was frustrating in the sense that we did not move forward, but ultimately, I remind myself that it’s all part of learning and to trust the process.

He started off the week having a hard time with 沒/mei2/none/, 走/zou3/walk/, and 會/hui4/can/,  but by the end of the week, because of our constant reviewing, he finally remembered them.

Some Observations

Even though I was a little frustrated at Glow Worm for insisting on reviewing Book 1.3 repeatedly, I am happy that he at least is gaining confidence from re-reading several of the harder passages in the book. Since he’s the one choosing to review, I don’t have to nag him as much as I did with my other two kids. Glow Worm is happy to review previous characters and because of the constant repetition, he got really good at reading them in terms of prosody and rhythm.

Looking on the bright side, at least Glow Worm is a self-starter and can hopefully see his improvement as he methodically goes through “easier” books.

Sagebooks Challenge Application

It’s been 9 weeks already! To think that when I first started, it seemed so impossible even though I’ve gone through the books twice before.

How have you been doing? Have you been making time for Sagebooks or has life been a little too frenzied? As if there isn’t enough to do during the week, have you had a chance to try the activities on the Sagebooks HK Blog or checked out the Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group? Let me know in the group (or the comments). See you 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.