My character has kids in elementary school (1sth, 2nd or 5th/6th grade), living in the US, somewhere in New England (right now I'm thinking Vermont, though information on other states is OK). I've googled the terms and found many useful sites, but I'm looking for more 'anecdotal'/practical information on the day-to-day workings/happenings in school and the homes of the students.
So, my questions are:
1. How does a typical school day go? What time does a school start, when do parents wake up to prepare for their kids, etc.
2. The school: What is the usual curiculum/schedule of classes? Are there after school programs? What are they?
3. School events: What are the usual school events that would require parental participation? When are they held? What usually happens in these events? And also, what do parents talk about in PTA meetings? I assume this is like what we have over here, an open discussion of the problems/suggestions/opinions of parents and teachers. I understand some schools even offer free babysitting when there are PTA meetings.
4. When do parents typically start preparing for the school year, and what preparations do they make (aside from the buying of clothes and school supplies)?
God, I sounded like a survey there. Feel free to share any wacky experiences or disasters if you want.
Thank you in advance. :)
ETA: YOU ARE ALL BEYOND AWESOME! Thank you so much for your help! :)