Why you should be writing

Writing heals. Writing calms. It connects and brings self-awareness. To write, we have to slow down our busy minds and focus on our purpose. It requires us to reflect on our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and see them clearly–which is why journaling has been found to benefit one’s long-term mental health even more than assistance from therapists. This process of reflection engenders self-awareness. curaFUN’s Shining Moments are personal narratives of when people’s character strengths helped themselves or their communities. Both the reading and writing of Shining Moments focus our attention on what we’ve done right, character strength goals and when we were internally rewarded/fulfilled by these inner strengths. One of my favorite authors, Epictetus, writes “You become what you give your attention to.” Shining Moments begins a positive reinforcement cycle by exploring inwardly for those moments and consequently seeking to demonstrate character strengths so we can create more Shining Moments.  Growth only starts when we put our attention and first recognize where we are, our strengths and weaknesses so we can enhance those inner strengths that we wish to possess.

When I first ask students to write Shining Moments, many of them come up empty and tell me they haven’t done anything great. They picture only news-worthy efforts at a Nobel prize level like Malala or Gretchen to be worthy as Shining Moments. That reasoning is akin to fledging falcons in their nests thinking they can’t immediately dive and soar like full-grown falcons so they might as well not try.

Start by asking yourself when you
1. Felt confident
2. Understood another person’s perspective
3. Worked well with someone else (teamwork) to achieve a group’s goal
4. Bounced back from a setback/disappointment and didn’t give up.
5. Restrained yourself from doing something that you wanted to but knew was wrong

Really dig deep and try to identify at least one example each from your life. This is no easy task because you’re not used to explorations like this. Start writing them down, and after a week, share a moment when you were the happiest with our community.

Which Multilingual Immersion should I choose for my child? Zoo Academy or Zoo U

Subscription to Multilingual Immersion gives children to the English and Chinese editions of a StrengthBuilder that is suitable for their language ability. Children go through scenarios and quests as their avatar in our training games in the order that’s suggested to them from their user dashboard. curaFUN’s multilingual specialists make adjustment to your child’s performance.
Multilingual Immersions enable students to experience life as a school-age child from two languages/cultures. When you’re trying to determine the appropriate placement, ask yourself how your child would fare if he/she move to the United States/China and started going to school in English/Chinese with native speakers. That’s the immersion experience.
Below is a chart to help.
Corresponding difficulty
Quick Preview Assessment
1st, 2nd grade
coming soon
3rd – 5th grade
coming soon

How do you ensure children users’ online safety on curafun.com?

We share your concerns, and have spent years tweaking parent control setting in our homes, trying every app, hardware that are released.

Our program provides a safe environment for children to learn, fail and try again.  It is an intentional and controlled learning environment, and the only equivalent is hiring a one-on-one coach with years of experience in child psychology and education pedagogy. Also, extensive research supervised by NSF, US Department of Education as well as our own internal studies demonstrate that children only need to participate in the program two times a week for 15 minutes each time to benefit.

As a non-profit founded to improve Asian youth’s emotional fitness, we commit to the following:

No hidden agendas – political, religious or anything other than improving children’s emotional wellbeing.

No selling or trading of your personal information

No advertisement  You don’t have to worry about inappropriate Google, Youtube ads popping up. We are not going to sell anything to your kids nor allow other companies to do so.

No private messaging, chatting or emails 
We understand dangers abound online, which is why your children’s accounts exist under yours.  There is no peer to peer private messaging or chatting.   Many other schools and programs ask for children’s emails, we don’t ask and don’t store that data anywhere.  Subscribers to the Multilingual Immersion program have the option of participating in our international pen pal program.  You can find out more about this program here, but know that it is a teacher-led pen pal program where your child’s coach facilitate language and cultural exchange between chosen pen pals.

No Storage or tracking of personal identifying Information

  1. Children can be signed up by their parents, and there’s no need for children to provide their email or identifying personal information.
  2. Any information requested are only used to create personal evaluation/assessment reports, website login and payment processing.


Will my child use the program? Is it boring?

Question: You claim that games in your programs are educational and not addictive. Then does that mean it’s boring and my kids won’t like it?

Our programs are definitely not entertainment. curaFUN programs professionally evaluate children in six core strength areas, and then dynamically calibrate level of difficulty to challenge your kids especially in areas where they need the most work. We all have our natural strengths and weaknesses, but our weaknesses only stay as such if we cower from them and allow them the power to become forever stumbling blocks. curaFUN’s AI driven programs are customized for your child and also grounded on the concept of ZPD. Growth is uncomfortable. We would be selling snake oil if we claim that your kids will volunteer to play StrengthBuilders or Multilingual Immersions over watching TV or playing PS4. For example, when we are training—yes, interactively training rather than just lecturing—kids to practice perseverance and patience, will the game be fast and easy?  In another post, we gave an analogy of a junior sales person attending a two-hour negotiation seminar one weekend, and expecting to suddenly close every deal for his company the next week.

Do you truly want to see results?   Real progress is hard, but it’s what we’re after. We care about your child’s growth more than being the most entertaining game on the market, so please encourage your child on their growth journey.

curaFUN programs are not entertainment. We’ve designed tough lessons to be effective yet still fun, and you can set your child up for success by allotting regular time(s) each week for them to concentrate on their subscription as a substitute for other learning activities. We find that when offered the choice between typical school work on our program, they’ll choose curaFUN every time.

Is it possible for my child to finish the entire game in one month? Can I cancel after a month?

Our research shows that children from schools and parents who observe best practices tend to complete each program in about six months. curaFUN is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the emotional wellbeing of Asian youth worldwide.  Read about our mission here.  Each subscription includes not only the game but assessment and recommendation as well as important on-going activities like daily mood check-in, gratitude journal, breathing meditations, positive thinking, goal setting and mentoring that all work cohesively to forge your child’s inner armor.  Our online games are only one portion of each program.  Subscribers to our Multilingual Immersions can also opt in our beta Virtual Exchange Student Pen Pal, and be guided by our coaches to interact with children from other countries.  While we certainly hope your child keeps his/her subscription, you may cancel your subscription at any time. There is no commitment.  Period.

We give families the option of month-to-month subscriptions on all our programs as well as discounts on 6-month and 12-month subscriptions.

Our founder wrote about progress in her blog.  You may want to read it here.

Zone of Proximal Development

When you notice that your child has made obvious progress, it’s easy to forget to encourage them because you may think it’s what they’re supposed to be doing. Just like when the child is younger, not knowing how to play jigsaw puzzles, you would take their hands and finish jigsaw puzzles together. After a period of time, you would suddenly realize that he/she doesn’t need you to correct them where some piece should be, and he/she can finish jigsaw puzzles on their own. You would not think this is something surprising. But we need to remind you, it’s still important to praise your kids! Because there is a huge gap between things that child can do with adult’s help and things that child can do without adult’s help! Bridging the gap of those two are something incredible!

Soviet psychologist Vygotsky divided children’s cognitive ability into two levels. The ability that a child can do without anyone’s assistance and guidance- when he/she is doing works alone, is called the actual development level. And the ability that the child can achieve when he/she has got help from peers who are better at the tasks they need to do, or has been taught by teacher or parents, is called the potential development level. The range between these two levels are zone of proximal development. And apparently we hope our kids to reach the potential development level when we are in their journey of growth.

Our game is meticulously designed by psychologists. It represents many activities that are challenging to kids as they are a little bit difficult than what they are capable of doing, and the game also includes virtual peers and teachers who can help them. The reason why it is created that way is for the child to achieve higher and reach to zone of proximal development. Kids can internalize the new problem-solving strategies and other skills that they have just learned, after they keep practicing, they can use these inner strengths when they are on their own. When you noticed that your child has made a progress, don’t forget to compliment him/her that you saw everything, and you are proud of them.