There are several approaches to teaching:
- "Unschooling" - This approach does not use textbooks. The philosophy is more of a "life teaching" system. I am not a big fan of this approach, but you can find out more by Googling "unschooling".
- Unit Studies - This system uses a particular theme to teach all subjects (not including Math). For example, you might study Japan for 2-3 weeks. In studying Japan, you can study Literature (through suggested books), science (Japan has lots of volcanoes and earthquakes), Geography, writing, etc. Then you move to another subject.
- Traditional School-at-Home - This is popular for new homeschoolers because it gives you a guide to follow. Most places offer a "boxed set" - everything you need for the particular grade. This is very convenient for parents and comforting to new homeschoolers.
A fantastic resource for curricula reviews is www.homeschoolreviews.com. This is a great place to get reviews on curricula you are thinking of buying, or you can browse around and find new ones you have never heard of. This site has saved me a lot of money. :o)
Another great tresource is veteran homeschoolers. They will happily tell you what they have liked and disliked! They might even have books and resources they will give you or let you borrow.