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.

Can my child repeat the game more than once?

Of course! Simulations are essential to skill building and retention. Pilots are not qualified without training on the flight simulator and astronauts aren’t sent to space without zero gravity training. Likewise, children shouldn’t be expected to master such a complicated skill as resilience, confidence, negotiation, leadership without adequate reinforcement. CuraFUN games instructs specific strategies, skills in progressively challenging levels, and simulate common social scenarios for children to problem-solve, rehearse newly learned material.  Learning by doing.  There are positive role models through each program as well as negative cautionary ones.  Children are also provided with immediate feedback for improvement based on their performance.

Do I have to sign a contract or commit to a long membership?

No, there is no long-term commitment. We want to make our programs assessible to as many families as possible. However you should keep in mind that the full value of curaFUN’s programs are in their unique three-prong approach. Parents receive a personalized and valid Strength Assessment Report for their child after he/she has completed the first six scenes of our StrengthBuilders or Multilingual Immersions. The StrengthBuilder Roadmap at the conclusion of our programs contains detailed evaluations of your child, with insightful progress report and our expert’s recommendations.

curaFUN’s products were developed in the US. Aren’t there cultural differences in the tone of voice, facial expressions, postures and social cues that you’re teaching children?

A study by the UNESCO MGIEP using StrengthBuilders showed how social and emotional skill development requirements were similar amongst children aged 5-15, across countries and races. Our multilingual games were found to give children a leg-up to thrive in multi-cultural classroom settings.
We followed a multi-pronged approach to develop Mandarin language learning products for children aged 5-15, in the following manner:

• curaFUN teamed up with leading child psychologists, educators and professional counselors in China & Taiwan, to understand how Mandarin-speaking children learn languages.

• We used the insights to develop gameplay scenarios that are recognizable to children. Depending on the age of the child, these scenarios included realistic interactions. For example, introducing oneself, borrowing a book, making friends, asking for advice, giving directions, recommending favorite artists etc. These scenarios are in increasing order of complexity.

• Puns, phrases & words that are common in English-speaking countries (but not in Mandarin-speaking countries) were changed to suit the Chinese cultural context and vice-versa. This was done to make them more understandable and accessible to children.

• All conversations in the curaFUN’s programs were recorded enlisting real people and not AI. Native Mandarin speakers were used to record Mandarin conversations, while native English speakers were used to voice the English-speaking characters. This allowed us to infuse the natural tone of voice and cadence variations that native speakers use when conversing with others.
• Care was taken to emote in the conversations, to allow children to recognize audio cues and match them with relevant vocabulary. The animated characters were designed to display relevant body language – which are normally associated with the audio cues – to make the conversation as realistic as possible.

At curaFUN, our focus isn’t just on building your child’s vocabulary, but to make them so confidently proficient and comfortable in the foreign language, that they’ll confidently hold conversations with a native speaker. We aim to do this by eliminating the traditional, time-bound language classes (normally offered in schools/language institutes) and replace it with fun multilingual learning lessons that can be taken anywhere, at any time.

We are the only multilingual life skills & socio-emotional-learning character education games provider in the Asian market. We offer unlimited access to both the English and Mandarin Chinese versions during your child’s subscription. If you’d like to learn more about our product, feel free to reach out to us here.