If your child is reading the Pinyin in Sagebooks instead of the Chinese characters, you may want to try a reading strip. Use the reading strip to cover up the Pinyin and English translation to help focus on the Chinese characters. Make reading easier by reducing visual stress. Reading strips were developed by reading specialists for children with attention disorders, dyslexia, autism. They can be useful for any child that is easily distracted and has a hard time reading line to line.
Easily create reading strip in about 5 minutes out of a clear document sleeve and colored tape. I opted for white tape as I thought a bright color would be too distracting and hard on the eyes. Scroll to the bottom to see the reading strip in action. Don’t feel like DIY? You can buy a set here.
Our Sagebooks Update
It’s been exactly one year since we started learning Chinese Characters with Sagebooks. We are currently studying book 3 of box 2, which means we have learned about 160 characters. On average it takes about a month and a half to complete a book of 20 characters. With a full time job and part time freelance projects, I don’t have time to study with the kids every day. I would say realistically we spend about 15 minutes at night before our bedtime stories, and 45 minutes each day on the weekend.
The rate we are learning is slower than I hoped but we are all learning at the same pace as my son. He just celebrated his 6th birthday and now reading English so that is competing with learning Chinese. He says he prefers to read English because it’s easier. My 3 year old daughter learns much faster than her big brother, often picking up a new character after seeing it just once. I’m always amazed by her memory. My goal is to complete Sagebooks before she learns to read, but she is catching up very quickly!
Is Sagebooks Hard to Use?
Honestly, teaching my children is painful. Most of the time I am gritting my teeth. I don’t know how teachers do this as a career. Just take a look at the video below to see a real Sagebooks reading session with my 6 year old. He doesn’t sit still and is easily distracted and can be disruptive in class, as I have been informed by his teachers. Being a parent and teacher is hard but Sagebooks makes the process of teaching Chinese characters easier. That said, I do believe you can teach any curriculum as long as you stick to it.
Do I still recommend Sagebooks?
Having Sagebooks has been much easier than trying to come up with my own curriculum. The curriculum is designed to repeat the characters often each time a new one is introduced. Then it is shown less frequently as you progress. The technique is similar to spaced repetition.
Sagebooks is an investment but has saved me so much time. The resale value is high and many parents sell these when they are done to offset the initial cost.
Sagebooks Learning Resources
If you are considering Sagebooks, join us! There’s a large community of parents teaching with Sagebooks so you will find many tips and resources. I have created tracing/writing practice worksheets for all 500 characters. Throughout my site you will find many activities and games to support your Sagebooks learning journey. 加油
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