What’s fake reading and how can you deal with it?

Blonde little girl in red glasses reads a book and seems tired leaning on the table. Fake reading.

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels


When it comes to reading, especially school materials, children sometimes pretend to read. This is called fake reading. It happens quite often in classrooms or even at home during a scheduled reading routine or when a child is simply asked to finish the book. Don’t worry, this isn’t a sign that your kid is a habitual liar but something that occasionally happens due to multiple reasons. Let’s examine those reasons.


How to spot fake readers?

Visible signs of fake reading:

-Finishing the book/chapter too quickly

-Skipping through the pages

-Getting interrupted by surroundings

-Playing with hair, pencils, or anything else on the table while reading

-Staring at the page for too long


Non-visible signs of fake reading:

-Unable to talk about the book

-Unable to make connections to other books and/or real-life situations

-Forgetting the content very quickly


Possible reasons for fake reading:

-Style/genre not interesting for child

-No freedom of choice in reading material permitted

-Reading material is too difficult

-Child compares themselves with other classmates/siblings

-Parent is too forceful 


How can you address fake reading?


1. Try to have a conversation about it

Nothing is better than clear communication. “I’ve noticed that you don’t actually read the book but skip through it.Why? What would you rather read instead?” You might discover an underlying problem that can actually be resolved easily. Read our article about reading habits and what to do when your child dislikes reading for some useful tips! 

Asian mother runs through her son's hair in bed

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels


2. Make it enjoyable

Reading is all about fun learning — if your child hates it, they’ll never touch a book on their own. One way to make reading fun is to include extra activities. Think of games or puzzles that would touch on the topics in the book or involve the same characters. At LionStory, we have implemented this idea and are now working hard to develop these types of activities. So stay tuned!


3. Observe and learn

Is an annoying classmate disturbing their reading? Or is their chair or table uncomfortable? Maybe there is a particular noise in the house not allowing them to concentrate? Is a mental disability complicating their reading? Observe and learn before jumping to conclusions too quickly. Maybe their habit of fake reading is not about disliking books at all. 

Small girl looking in her phone with the books on the side. Fake reading

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


4. Create a plan

Sometimes a schedule or a routine is the best solution to habitual reading. Sit down together and come up with a plan.“What are we gonna read next? Do you want to read every Sunday? Should we visit the library every month?” 



We know fake reading is annoying and frustrating because you want your children to read and learn. But some children will always inevitably skip through the pages. We’re positive that through observation and communication, eventually you’ll be able to turn a fake reader into the real reader.


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What’s fake reading and how can you deal with it?

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