Q:

My little girl is far advanced of the other children in her class. Her teacher is complaining about her daydreaming, humming or just "spacing out" in class. She calls it a "behavioral problem." We think it is because she is bored and unchallenged. The school doesn't test for admission to its gifted program until next year. In the meantime, how can we handle this? -- Daydreamer

A:

Daydreaming in school can't be all bad, as both Albert Einstein and Robert Frost were daydreamers. So your daughter is in good company. The big question is: How is she doing in school? Is she an academic superstar who aces all her work? If the teacher agrees that the work appears way too easy for your child, can he or she find a way to add more challenge to the curriculum?

Many students do have the ability to listen in class and absorb information even though they appear to be daydreaming. Of course, humming while the other children are working quietly can be distracting. The teacher should be able to bring your child back to focusing on her schoolwork by asking her questions or talking to her about the work that she is doing. Is there any possibility that this is an attention problem? What is your child's behavior like at home? In any case, you don't want her to get in the habit of not paying attention in class.

Parents do bear a responsibility for providing their gifted children with challenging activities, from visits to museums to art lessons. If the school curriculum proves to be totally inappropriate for your child, there is always the possibility of homeschooling her.