I never knew how many characters my big one knew. After she was born, I went with the flow of what I thought was an efficient teaching method for learning to read in both English and Chinese. I’ve always felt that her English was much strong than Chinese because we’re in the states but the truth is, she’s probably only slightly at a higher level in reading English than Chinese.
Her current books in English are the ones from Roald Dahl, lexile scale ranging from 500-650. Her French is still at her age level (Kindergarten but we don’t emphasize that at home so I’m happy with whatever progress she makes there on her own). In Chinese, she’s reading lower elementary level Chinese from first to third but now more edging on end of second grade. The only thing I haven’t bridged is letting go of phonetic assistance for her so we set out a goal this year. We started in March this year to just cover up the phonetics. I never counted how many characters she knows because it’s impossible to measure unless if you sit for a long time and ask her to go through like 2500 flashcards! That was a waste of time to me and seriously, I am not too obsessed about how many characters she knows. What was important to me was comprehension and I knew the characters would follow.
A quick way to test what she knows is for her just to read an elementary level set of books that had no zhuyin (phonetic assistance). We started this last week and I was decently positively surprised that she could read at least 90% of the text. Speed is still lacking showing her not so perfect fluency in reading harder text but I feel very encouraged at her current progress.
All I can say is… she’s made herself drop zhuyin for her sixth birthday coming up this month. Thank you baby. It’s been a joy ride with you. I am so so so so proud of you.