I am also fairly new to all this, I started in May homeschooling my 10 year old son (gifted plus LDs) and my 6 year old daughter. My daughter is currently attending a small private Montessori school, but I am still afterschooling her, as well as homeschooling my son. A few resources I highly recommend are:
The Homeschool Buyers Coop
. This group has over 30,000 members and offers excellent (sometime astonishing) discounts on (mostly) digital/internet based programs. It's free to join and they have a current Group Buy on a phonics program that my 6 year old loves: ClickN Read
($29.95, AND you can reuse it for other kids — it's a lifetime subscription). https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/index.php?option=com_epp_offer&Itemid=570
For trying to evaluate different curricula, I've found the Homeschool Reviews
site to be very helpful. The reviews usually describe the pros and cons of different curricula; often parents have tried more than one system and can compare them; and often parents will discuss what type of learner their child is (visual vs auditory, needs lots of repetition vs easily bored, etc) in relation to whether the particular curriculum did or didn't work for them. I've found it very helpful in narrowing down the overwhelming number of choices to a few that I can explore in depth.http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/reviews/default.aspx
A great book I highly recommend is Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath, You Can Do This!
by Terrie Lynn Bittner. There is a wealth of practical advice and suggestions, from organization and record-keeping to building lesson plans and unit studies, etc. I got a copy at my local Barnes & Noble. (BTW, once you've registered with the State as a homeschooler, you can take your confirmation form to Barnes & Noble and Borders and get a 20% Educator's Discount card.)
For practical suggestions, with a first grader you can do a lot with a few workbooks and your local Library for science books. Personally I like the Harcourt Family Learning series of Language Arts workbooks
, but there is a HUGE selection of workbooks on all topics, for PreK to 8th grade, at Barnes & Noble that you can look through and see what appeals to you. At least if you have a couple of workbooks (or even one of those big all-in-one 1st grade curriculum workbooks) you can get started schooling right away while you explore your options. There is also a series called What Your (fill in the blank) Grader Needs to Know
by E.D. Hirsch Jr (also available at B&N, Amazon, etc) that can give you a general idea of things to cover in 1st grade this year, and the books themselves provide a lot of content (history lessons, reading passages, etc).
For reading, we love the "Bob" series of readers
. Some people find them too plain, but my daughter loved the fact that she could read them all by herself very quickly, and you can't beat the price — we got all three sets of books at Costco for $10 each.
For science, it's easy (and appropriate for a 1st grader) to do lots of little mini-units on things like plants, insects, landforms, cooking, etc. The library has dozens of books on experiments for kids, visual encyclopedias, etc., and the Usborne science books are especially good for early elementary grades. Explora
offers great science classes for homeschoolers — my son is currently taking the 5th-7th grade course at Explora and loves it. The Museum of Natural History
is another great science resource (especially the Naturalist Center); you can also print out elementary grade activity sheets from their website that kids can fill in when you visit.
For history, I would also just use library books combined with visits to local museums, historical sites, etc. It's easy to put together little mini-units for history and tie them to other things that are going on (like holidays, family trips, etc). And again the What Your First Grader Needs to Know
book can give you a rough idea of topics to cover (and provide much of the content, too). One caveat about that series though — I think they recommend WAY more that the average child in an average public school is ever taught, so don't feel like you have to teach it all!
You mentioned that you already had plenty of math materials, but I'll recommend this site anyway: Math Mammoth
offers a series of worktexts designed specifically for homeschoolers that are very well designed, effective, and inexpensive. You can buy a whole package for a specific grade level, or can buy individual topics, like addition, multiplication, fractions, etc. They also have a big package of 280 worksheets you can download for free, and there are some excellent reviews of various other math curricula as well. The main website is Homeschool Math:http://www.homeschoolmath.net/
And the specific Math Mammoth website that sells the worksheets & books is:http://www.mathmammoth.com/
If you really feel like this is only a temporary thing, and you just want your daughter to "keep pace" with her public schoolmates, then you may just want to ask the school what books they use, and/or ask for their syllabus/list of standards for the 1st grade and follow that. But if you want to go further, you can certainly provide your daughter with a big head start even if she returns to public school — I think you'll be amazed at how much more kids can learn at home!