Wiz Phonics- The Latest Education Technique for Children
By Shafiya Nawzer
A learning aid is intended to enhance learning and retention by the learner. Learning and teaching aids are integral components in a child’s education. It helps learners improve reading and comprehension skills and relieve boredom by presenting information in a new and exciting way. Zahara Jawfer Tharique is the Founder of Wiz Phonics. Her passion for education and teaching evolved into a business; she now caters to a range of specially designed learning aids for children. We spoke to her about her passion
Following are excerpts of the interview:
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a twin mom; I have a girl and boy (Liyanah and Eesa) and they are turning six this December. I have over ten years teaching experience. I recently completed my Master of Arts from the University of Nottingham UK, while I did Biomedicine for my undergraduate studies. I started tutoring children in my early 20’s and that’s when I realised I had a passion for teaching. I decided to further my studies in the field of Education.
When the twins were just 40 days old, I enrolled in a professional teacher training diploma course that paved the way for my Master’s. I was encouraged and supported by my husband, Tharique, and parents, in-law, my maternal aunt, and siblings. I would never have gotten this far without them. As an Educator, my love is to simplify information and deliver it effectively. I hope to further my studies and read for my Ph.D. in Education in the near future. We cater to children from six months to nine years as of now.
What is the story behind Wiz Phonics and what you offer?
When I started teaching phonics it was a battle. I had to research on how best to present new information to my twins! I was worried about how they would remember letter shapes and sounds. So, I made it simple for them to comprehend. At this time, I was also reading for my Masters in Education. I based all my research for my Masters on early childhood education, reading, and parental involvement.
I felt it was my responsibility to support their studies even more,as I was an educator. Wiz Phonics is a passion venture. It was inspired through teaching my five-year-old twins and began when I opened my personal Instagram blogZeeetalks in 2017. My husband encouraged me because he knew I had a passion to write. On Zeeetalks, I wrote- poems, quotes, life experiences as a daughter, wife, educator, postgraduate student and a working twin mom.
Over time, the page gained traction and people were able to relate to my journey, my writing and my personality traits. It felt I was voicing the thoughts of many women; it felt empowering. On this platform, I also started sharing learning activates I did with my children. These posts gained popularity among my Instagram following. When I posted about the resources I had developed to teach my children on my blog, I got many messages inquiring from where I purchased them. Many people were disappointed when I told them I made these and were not available for purchase.
I felt bad that I couldn’t help them and that was when the idea for Wiz was born. I narrated it with a passion to my husband and family. They are behind what is now Wiz! The response to Wiz has been amazing! We have 12,000 followers on Instagram. A week after we launched, I shipped my first international order! We have now launched ten products. We have shipped to the US, UK, Australia, UAE, Qatar, Japan, Saudi, Singapore, India and Malaysia! I am overwhelmed by the positive feedback. I am grateful to God and humbled by the support on social media!
As a mom of two, how do you manage the different learning styles and capabilities of each child?
Every child is different and have diverse learning styles and speeds. My son and daughter, although the twins are poles apart! As parents, we must acknowledge the differences and accept that every child has different capabilities and talents! I teach them things together but adjust my teaching style to suit each of them. I am involved in their 08 09 learning and identified their learning styles! This is why I am such a huge advocate of parental involvement! Children are our responsibility and we must guide them. Be involved, only then you can identify the way your children learn and cater to them accordingly!
You have recently started a workshop, what does it encompass?
We recently launched the Wiz Phonics training workshops and I have trained more than 40 batches and counting. The purpose is to provide a concise overview of the phonics process! To most of us, phonics is quite new and was not used when we learned to read.
Hence, some parents and teachers are clueless about the updated methods used. I hope to propagate the Wiz phonics methodology, which will enable children to easily start reading fluently by the time they are five to seven-years-old! A few years ago, the only technique was rote memorisation! In the phonic method, we teach children to read by making them understand letter sounds, manipulate them and decode wordsit’s basically a skill! I also hope to reach parents and teachers and propagate the right phonics conventions which will benefit many children and help overcome the language barrier.
The workshop isn’t just about phonics, but also contains a section on learning as a whole; so parents and teachers understand the process and can facilitate the learning process effectively by exercising the right methodologies.
Due to the pandemic, parents are struggling to keep their kids engaged. How can Wiz Phonics help children be interested in activities during this time?
The pandemic has a two- way effect in terms of Education! While schools are now only operating virtually; the lockdown has given parents more time to fully review, aid, and get involved in their children’s learning! Most parents have even opted to home-school their children due to the current situation.
Our learning aids have been pivotal at times like now. They have helped parents to teach their little ones by making the process simpler and more comprehensive. We know this for certain because of the response. Messages, videos, and photos of children making wonderful progress is ample proof! Such a moment of pride for them and us!
How has the brand evolved during the pandemic?
I launched the brand during the pandemic and it has evolved with the pandemic! In terms of Education, the focus has been on devising methods and using virtual platforms to somehow make up for the learning that is being affected during these uncertain times.
Wiz products have been crucial tools in helping parents and teachers cater to learners better and we couldn’t be happier about it! Surviving and thriving through the pandemic has taught us a lot and we are grateful for the experience! I believe it’s all a part of a steep learning curve, which will eventually help us grow and anchor ourselves more. Looking forward to what lies ahead!
How can people purchase your products?
We process orders on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Customers can inbox us for details and we offer our recommendations and deliver the products to their doorstep. You can contact us through our Facebook - Wizphonics Instagram– wizphonics Email – [email protected] Website - wizphonics.business.site Whatsapp/Telephone- 0766410616
What will Wiz Phonics be in the future?
My vision is to propagate and establish the wiz phonics methodology across the Island. To reach schools in rural areas and give children the opportunity to learn English; so they can confidently become multilingual and not be afraid to converse, read and write in English along with the national languages. I hope to spread the method among teachers, who will deliver it to children and contribute positively to the