Gifted Kids, p.5
In Talia's case, as with most gifted kids, the big task is to ward off boredom. "A child who is not sufficiently challenged can lose interest in school very quickly," says Marilyn Wallace, head of Quest Academy. "If a kindergartner has to sit through a lesson on the alphabet when she is a fluent reader, that child will tune out because school isn't engaging."
After-school enrichment programs, such as Talia's, are just one option for gifted education. Some districts have an entire public school for gifted kids, like the one associated with Hunter College, or gifted programming may be worked into regular schools. Kids may leave their classrooms for part of the day to work on individual or group projects with a special teacher, for example.
The process of identifying kids who should participate in special programs also varies widely from district to district. IQ tests remain a common standard. Another is achievement, such as when a first-grader is reading at a sixth-grade level. A teacher may also nominate a child -- by saying, for example, "I can't meet the needs of this child in a class of 20 others who are working at a lower level."