I'm a "retired" homeschooler, having homeschooled my kids thru their high school years, graduating them into university, where they have now both earned BSc degrees.
I was also at one point president of a large homeschool association and still sometimes counsel people considering homeschooling.
There are 2 authors I always assign.
Mary Pride, and Cathy Duffy. Both ladies wrote 2 very different curriculum consumer guides (Mary ran to 4 huge volumes in the edition I was used to and Cathy was always 2 slim books).
The problem for most homeschoolers is this. Not a lot of money, no room for mistakes and a very limited way of seeing something before buying it.
Your homeschool buddies might not own a copy of the book you want to buy, the library doesn't own it and won't bring it in because they object (some do!) to supplying "curriculum".
To top it off, most bookstores won't carry anything but the most popular stuff so that eliminates the unusual and often really good homegrown homeschool mother written language arts program or math program.
The curriculum fair comes to town, but it's a zoo or circus in there, good luck concentrating on the book tables with the kids zooming around. Even if you left yours at home, the other mothers often don't, and the noise and distractions abound.
You need some way to find that good stuff that works better and is cheaper than what you already use.
Examples of this are Learning Language Arts thru Literature, or Letz Farmers' Mastering Mathematics program or Calculadder, or Ball Stick Bird.
All of these started out on someone's kitchen table. Unless you look them up in a curriculum guide such as Mary Pride or Cathy Duffy, you won't find them or have a clue if they could do something wonderful for your homeschool.
Textbooks like Write Source 2000 (one of my favourites) are hard to find if you don't know what to look for. Cathy Duffy and Mary Pride both told me in their guides that this was a top pick.
Get yourself a copy of Mary Pride, and a copy of Cathy Duffy, and start flagging interesting stuff with post it notes, then start ordering your own tailor made program to teach your children the cheapest most efficient way possible.
at the very least, most libraries carry these guides, get yours to order a fresh set, the latest editions and then get in line to borrow them.
This is the best resource for finding all the information you need to start homeschooling, or to supplement a public school student's learning (afterschooling). If you don't know how to go about it, or even if you are an expert homeschooler looking for the latest in curriculum and methods... this is an excellent resource. I have been buying this series of books each time it comes out, and every time there is something new that I learn, and that I add to our learning regime. It truly is the most authoritive, and up-to-date homeschooling (or after-schooling) information available out there. If you are just starting... this is the one to get! It will help you locate just what you need, and whittle down the vast choices to those that suit you and your needs quickly. Highly recommended. :)