Originally posted on Craig Canapari, MD:

NOTE: The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended school start times no earlier than 8:30 for teens. Read more here.

A few years ago, I had a sixteen year old come into sleep clinic for insomnia.  He was a hard-working student in a good school district. I asked him to describe his sleep problems to me. “I finish my homework at midnight every night,” he said, “and I can’t fall asleep by 12:10 AM.” Each of his Advanced Placement classes had 1-2 hours of assigned homework per night and he was not routinely finishing homework until 11 PM or 12 AM. This may be an exaggerated case [and note that the details have been changed a bit to protect patient privacy.] However, let’s do the math.  The typical school day for a high school student in this country is between 6.5-7 hours per day. Most school districts start between 7-8…

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Old House My House: Auburndale 2010-2011

Old House My House: Auburndale 2010-2011 http://ow.ly/2R4J3

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Top 100 Young Adult (Teen) Novels (via Dog Ear)

I love YA and I love list and this is a great list of YA books so I am re-posting it. I have read a fair number and heard of some others but a few were new to me. Happy Reading!

Top 100 Young Adult (Teen) Novels Well, here it is; the ultimate in hubris. I've gripped enough about the results of Persnickety's poll results. I'm going to put myself out there and offer up my own top 100 young adult titles. There's no formal polling system, though I consulted several other Librarians. These are basically what I consider essential YA reading :) I do not pull out individual books in a series. If it's a good series, you should read all the books! I also include t … Read More

via Dog Ear

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Creative, Crafty and Cool

capability mom finds the creative maven

Just stumbled upon The Creative Maven - wow! What a great resource! She is creative and a maven, as advertised, and she writes well and she is funny, too. I am fascinated with How to Re-Upholster a Wingback Chair.  I may not (okay – full disclosure – will never) attempt this particular project but there are some smaller (hopefully easier) chairs that I would like to try.

Great DIY tips – The Maven patches jeans, makes a painted umbrella stand  and she gives tutorials on the stuff she does so you can actually attempt them with a hope of success.capability mom coveting these jeans

I found this site through Today’s Creative Blog which is moving to from Blogger to WordPress so may be down but back up soon.

Then, ‘cuz I am such a computer whiz, I also found ModPodgeRocks which it does. Rock, I mean.Great decoupage projects and I just bought a giant container of the stuff. Love it. I have only decoupaged a table and the inside of a cabinet -

capability mom decoupage table

but would willingly decoupage almost anything. Maybe I should go look at this site for ideas first before I completely cover our house in decoupaged items.

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Need Something to do? Look no further…Great Stuff from WGBH

capability mom finds artcapability mom goes looking for artI have great friends and family who are always looking out for me and looking to find interesting stuff for me to do and to share here.

South Coast Artists looks like a fun family day – they have a great activity guide for kids – perfect for today.

From the website:

Welcome to the seventh annual South Coast Artists Studio Tours. This is your chance to visit the studios of some of the best artists living, working and exhibiting in the four beautiful coastal towns of Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport and Dartmouth. Whether this is your first visit, or you’re a seasoned traveler to the South Coast, you’re sure to be impressed by the amazing quality and incredible range of creative work being produced in these scenic communities.  This year the tour features two separate weekends, July 17–18 and August 21–22, and includes over 50 exhibiting artists.

capability mom loves wgbhIf you want to stay closer to home or plan further out – here is a list of cool things to do from WGBH.

Tanglewood Weekend: Mendelssohn and Beethoven; Higdon, Bach, Suppé, Sarasate, and Bizet

Saturday, Aug. 21 and Sunday, Aug. 22, Lenox, MA

Guided Garden Tour

Sundays through Dec. 26, Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA

Landmarks Festival, Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, Boston

Wednesdays through Sept. 1

The Cat in the Hat and the Buzz About Bees Family Funfest

Friday, Aug. 27, Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA

(A special offer extended to WGBH members from our sister station, WGBY)

WGBH Family Fun Day

Sunday, Sept. 5, Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA

An Evening with David Sedaris

Thursday, Sept. 30, The Hanover Theater, Worcester, MA

The Music & Dance of Poland: Mazowsze

Wednesday, Dec. 8, The Hanover Theatre, Worcester, MA

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smart phones and apps

My day begins with a cup of tea, a glance at the Boston Globe (the Sox won) then an email check (maybe some on-line dawdling, I mean social media) and then getting kids off to camp, lunches, carpool and all. It does not (yet) involve a smart phone but I think that is about to change. Hiawatha Bray, the great tech columnist for the Globe (he was introduced to our school group during a tour of the Globe last year and is very funny, too), has a column in today’s Globe about smart phones and Google’s Android operating system. Basically you can either get an iPhone (but with service only through A T & T) or any other smart phone (Samsung and Dell are featured) through any other carrier. Read more here.

capability mom looks at appsThen, in my inbox was an email from a friend (okay, I was messing around with her iPhone yesterday) about a site called MomswithApps.com. Great site for developers of apps and families who want good family friendly apps.

From the site :  In November of 2009, four moms (who connected over Twitter) got on the phone to talk about their apps, how they were marketing them, and how they could work together to help spread the word. They decided to form a Google Group, and invited other mom developers to join. It quickly became a discussion, brainstorming and marketing forum about family-friendly apps. How do you successfully launch an app? What should you price it? How are you making your app compatible with iPad? You get the drill.

Besides the moms, there were also dads, aunts, grandmas and reviewers who came on board. With critical mass they launched the Moms With Apps blog, which focuses on articles about kids, technology, developers, and weekly featured apps. Over the last 9 months (no pun intended) the group has attracted over 100 parent and family-friendly developers, in addition to app reviewers and industry specialists.

There are apps for reading, apps for learning, apps for travel ( I am playing with MomMaps this morning), apps for parents, apps for fun & creativity, and apps for special needs. On Friday, they feature an app that anyone – you don’t have to be a developer – can submit – so send them your favorite app. Here is the email address: momswithapps@gmail.com. capability mom looks at appsA great site – well organized and thoughtful with cool age appropriate apps.

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The Berkshires for the weekend

capability mom goes to the 7th annual zucchini festivalWow. What a great weekend – good food, (Alta and Frankie’s in Lenox – The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge), good company (the in-laws), a nice inn (The Apple Tree Inn) and lots to do (so much we didn’t get to it all) …Tanglewood, The Berkshire Museum – a Mummy exhibit was the draw – Rockwell Museum, the Zucchini Festival in West Stockbridge, Hancock Shaker Village…what was that…a zucchini festival?

Perhaps you don’t have my childhood memories of too many zucchini (the only thing that our garden ever produced) and word-nerd alert – zucchini is the plural and the singular in English, I checked). My mom made lots of ratatouille (it is a testament to my faith in smitten kitchen that I would even attempt her recipe – I am so scarred by this dish…sorry, Mom), zucchini bread and countless other dishes that we just knew she sneaked zucchini into…and to add insult to injury we also were sent to give them to our neighbors.  I’m pretty sure that they hid when they saw any of us coming their way with those overgrown squashes.

So how does a slightly recovering zucchini-phobic person agree to an entire festival dedicated to the giant green squash?  A trust-worthy friend who has a place in the Berkshires told us about the zucchini festival and as a family we thought it sounded fun/random/funny/cool.

It was all of those things and more. Nice people (including some cool-looking twenty-somethings and their children), a sunny day, good music, funny roadside signs with fun facts about zucchini, a really lively street fair. There were zuch (instead of duck races – I thought they would throw zucchini off the bridge into the river for the race –  more wishful thinking) but they had numbered ducks and races on the hour through an obstacle course – best viewing in the open air art gallery to the side of the river). There was a zucchini bean bag toss, a dunk tank, rock climbing wall, games, artist and crafts people (like meatbagz – so cool)with booths lining the main street and a petting zoo that held our interest for quite a while.

capability mom wants this bagMore – there was more – a bake-off (yes, we bought a zucchini bread and yes, I had a taste – I am fine) – Here is a short list of zucchini related activities: zucchini decorating, zucchini car racing, zucchini catapult (sad to say I missed this), 70 ft blow up Obstacle course (no zucchini were harmed in the making of this course), a Zhoto booth and much more.

Not that Tanglewood wasn’t lovely (you can walk there from the Inn) because it was and our seats were lovely and we made new friends when we shifted seats for better viewing (ours and theirs).  Lenox, Stockbridge,  Pittsfield and West Stockbridge are charming towns that we had fun exploring. There are so many fun and cultural things to do and the setting is spectacularly beautiful. Maybe I shouldn’t tell so many people – it will get ruined like the Vineyard or Nantucket.

On the way home we stopped at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield which was great fun – you tour the museum, get to play ball and grab an ice cream at Stone Cold Creamery on the way out. Nice day trip even if you don’t make it to the Berkshires.

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