My child is getting very frustrated by curaJOY’s games.

All of curaJOY’s StrengthBuilder are professionally designed and validated to assess and build resilience and cooperation as well as other key strengths such as communication, confidence, self discipline and empathy. Remind your child that this game is all about practicing and learning. We don’t often get anything right on the first try, but if we keep practicing, we’ll get it eventually. curaJOY’s psycho-educational experts intentionally design scenarios to challenge children and occasionally frustrate them in order for them to grow. These frustrations are necessary for the children to master the necessary life skills and emotional intelligence that are often missing from their schools and real life.

Our proprietary algorithm dynamically adjusts the difficulty of game-based tasks throughout the entire game to be sufficiently challenging yet d not so difficult that uncertainty, confusion, or frustration. If your child is frustrated by certain challenges in StrengthBuilder, you’ll likely see corresponding weakness in your child’s reporting on that area of your parent dashboard. curaJOY games provide realistic, research-based, and often missing opportunities for children to build strengths and grow their social emotional skills. For some children, knowing the benefits and purpose of curaJOY games might be the key to their buy in. For example, you can share that they can practice approaching new friends or stand up to a bully in the game, and the strengths that they build in curaJOY will carry over to real life.

Your words of encouragement go a long way when children become frustrated from their lessons. It’s ok to take breaks or complete just one scene at a time and come back to the game. Remember, it only takes 15-30 minutes twice a week for children to experience benefits from our program. It’s ok to take a break, and come back to tackle the challenge another day. Afterall, that’s what one of our key strength, resilience, is all about! Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need additional help or recommendations.”

How are “You’re The Star” comics different from others on the market?

Humans have used stories to illustrate values since before Homer and Aesop. We learn better when the content is presented in a familiar and relevant way to our lives. The stories in “You’re The Star” comics are designed to improve children’s responses to common challenges and goals in children’s lives. Each comic features your child as the “star” with myriads of customization options to personalize your child’s comic alter-ego. Just like in any superhero comics, your child–the star, confronts challenges that commonly appear in children’s lives to help children internalize better alternate responses by creating simple and complete stories. When children read these comics, they observe and view situations from another’s perspective, understanding the thoughts, emotions, and expectations of others in various scenarios. Repetition aid in solidifying the learning of new concepts. Expected social norms are also incorporated into curaJOY’s comics to improve children’s social adaptability and interpersonal communication skills. There are twelve comics available in the series currently, but we’re always working on new content. If your child is struggling with a particular topic, and you don’t see a comic available, please contact us.

How much should I help my child through curaJOY’s games?

Initially, you should help your child set up their avatar if they are younger, and become familiar with the games’ interface. Research shows that personalization of game elements enhances both engagement and learning for users and the avatar is one of the most important opportunities for personalization (Chin, Dukes, & Gamson, 2009). Specifically, providing young children the ability to customize the look of their in-game character enhances their subjective feelings of presence and psychophysiological indicators of emotion during gameplay when compared to children who must select from a pre-established pool or have an avatar selected for them (Bailey, Wise, Bolis, 2009). Children will be more successful in the long run if you encourage them to persevere in figuring out how to move through the games, and solve problems on their own. Remember frustrations and challenges are built into curaJOY’s games by design in order to build confidence, resilience, cooperation, self discipline, communication and empathy. curaJOY’s StrengthBuilder games is an age-specific collection of comprehensive 3-prong programs which evaluate, improve and roadmap the social emotional skills and behavioral readiness of children ages 5-15. Our curriculums are written by PhD level educators and psychologists, and much of the work is behind the scenes in our assessment algorithms and customized content. Try to only step in if they are really stuck, so you and your child are fully benefiting from the initial Strength Assessment Report and final StrengthBuilder Roadmap. And remember it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes twice a week for children to experience the benefits of our programs.

Is the StrengthBuilder game an IQ test or assessment?

curaJOY’s StrengthBuilder is an age-specific collection of comprehensive 3-part programs which assess, improve and roadmap the social emotional skills, performance and behavioral readiness of children ages 5-15. The composite score from StrengthBuilder assessments have been validated to be a reliable social emotional competence (SEC) score. (Cronbach’s alpha =.82).  Validity of StrengthBuilder’s evaluations and reporting went through rigorous validation criteria, compiling multiple qualitative and quantitative data points including

  • Clinical research staff’s 1-on-1 observation of children’s gameplays (prior, during, post evaluations)
  • Children’s self-evaluation and feedback
  • Educators’ standardized assessment scale of children
  • Parents’ assessment of children using Devereux Student Strengths Assessment short form (DESSA-mini)
  • Review by clinical psychology and third party research agencies

In fact, StrengthBuilder games are the only social emotional games to go through large-scale efficacy studies by the US Department of Education.

How long should my child be spending on curaJOY games?

“We recommend 30 minutes of game play twice a week for skill retention, but even 15 minutes would be beneficial. Be sure to help your children set up their avatar in the game play as some younger children have trouble with this portion. When the game says “You finished the game,” your child has finished a scene, and may return next time for their session. It’s important for children to finish a scene before quitting for the most accurate evaluation results. Consistent practice is essential to mastering any skill. curaJOY products incorporate proven effective methods of enhancing children’s character and social emotional skills. Each StrengthBuilder contains 24-30 scenes, and children will benefit most from repeated play. Your child has unlimited access to the game for the length of your subscription.

For many young children, social situations and using new skills can be new and challenging, and to prevent cognitive overload and fatigue, we included “purposeful breaks” between sets of scenes (2-3) that will lead children through mindfulness activities such as deep breathing to help clear their minds and relax before they move on to the next scene, but also recommend that children play no more than three scenes in one sitting.”

How do the Multilingual Immersions work? Can my child play in both languages at the same time?

curaJOY’s Multilingual Immersions are best suited for language learners with at least an intermediate understanding of the foreign language who wish for true fluency. There are no vocabulary flashcards or similar basic skill building instructions. A good question to ask is whether your child would understand at least half of the content if they were spoken to in that foreign language.

When there is a noticeable difference in language fluency between English and Mandarin, we suggest starting in the language that your child is more comfortable with to achieve adoption of the program, especially the first 6 scenes. The Strength Assessment Report that is included with your purchase is unique, personalized based on your child’s gameplay data from the first six scenes of whichever language they play. (Children may even choose to play scene 1 in Mandarin, 2 in English, scene 3 in Mandarin and so on.)

After the initial Strength Assessment Report, curaJOY partners with you on your child’s growth journey and provide valuable insights on your child’s progress throughout the game, with detailed analysis on their strengths and weaknesses.

Some of the dialogue text got cut off in the game. Why aren’t all texts displaying in the games?

The text displaying on screen are merely visual aids, mainly as anchors to help children make choices throughout the game. It’s far too easy for children to speed through the game without listening and understand the nonverbal, often untaught element of communication. Some of the choices presented to children in our programs appear identical in print but convey drastically different meaning with different tone of voice, volume and other non-verbal cues of communication. Afterall, these are the essence of a language when you wish to engage in meaningful interactions with people in everyday life.

curaJOY’s programs are designed for our 6 inner strengths, focus, social skills, tone of voice, multilingual learner’s listening comprehension and conversational fluency. Each program employs professional educators, actors and licensed psychologist in their creation, and tone of voice, posture, timing, negotiation style, joining conversations and body language are among the components of communication that we teach children.

If your child is used to rapidly clicking through games with limited comprehension and intention, they learn to slow down and patiently listen to every dialogue instead of skimming and skipping ahead. Our modern world where automated processes increasingly eliminate face to face communication raise a younger generation who only knows texting as a main vehicle of communication. Take “why are you crying?” for instance, you can interpret it with a concerned, caring intent, an impatient tone of voice, implying the unwillingness to tolerate such a crybaby, or a prying tone of voice, showing the intention to look for something to gossip about, when we leave you clueless about the nonverbal aspects of communication. By listening through the different audio recording in our programs, children experience the difference in nonverbal communications, and with our guidance, take it one step further by reflecting on how they usually interact and ways to improve.

curaJOY teaches children through allowing them to experience the benefits and consequences of different choices in communication and more. Natural learning like this retains better and longer.

My child can read fluently yet. When there is no pinyin or BoPoMoFe, my child can’t read all texts. Will you be adding these reading tools in the games?

curaJOY programs can accommodate a wide range of abilities. Children can still play and enjoy our games even when they cannot read fluently. Every single line is recorded and played aloud either automatically or at the click of a mouse, and the program is developed and tested to children’s social emotional and cognitive developmental milestones.

How are curaJOY StrengthBuilder games different from the many free games that are available for children?

curaJOY products are developed specifically for social emotional learning with funding from the US Department of Education and National Science Foundation. Six years of rigorous research, more than $6 millions in training methodology, game design and research validation, and multiple peer reviewed published studies conclude that the consistent use of our programs improve skills in 6 key areas of strengths: confidence, communication, discipline, resilience, cooperation and empathy. We know that there are games with flashier animation than ours, but none can say positively that they help children build skills that will last a lifetime. To find out more about our product development, see StrengthBuilders.

curaJOY’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:

• curaJOY 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 curaJOY’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 curaJOY, 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.

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 curaJOY’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.

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. curaJOY 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.

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