you won't at all be able to gauge when it comes based solely off other kids. it comes at all different times for people depending on where you live, how many towns the trucks deliver to, how many stops they need to make, etc.
apple usually uses fedex though, might want to check on that
most of the time you can print out a form from apple.com and sign it saying they can leave the package on your doorstep. not sure if it's something you want to risk but you could do that. also if you know your ups/fedex guy you can just leave a sticky on the door with your signature saying they can leave the package coming from apple addressed to your name and they should leave it, mine does
what i've done before when i missed packages is just called my local UPS center and had them ask the driver if he'd call me and i can meet him at a place he delivers to everyday at a certain time. it's worked every time and the driver is usually cool about it too seeing as he won't have to go back the next day.