Hi there and welcome!
Netpea did an awesome job telling you what you'll need. I just wanted to explain something that I found "very" confusing while I was trying to determine what we
needed. At first glance, I thought the various packages, (Economy, Deluxe, Basic, etc) meant each was a complete curriculum. It took me awhile to figure out that in addition to the Economy package, I still would need to add in writing, grammar, math, science, etc.
So here's what you'll need:
Economy package which includes your teacher's manual and history books
Science add-on which includes six science books (unless you have another program you prefer).
Basic Package which includes Math, Grammar, and Bible (unless you have another program you prefer).
Your choice of one of the two cursive programs. (Unless you have another program you prefer.)
Reading program- Here you'll first have to decide if your child is an emergent reader or does your child read independently? If he is an emergent reader, order or utilize the library for the emergent reader books. If he is an independent reader, you would be ready to use the Drawn Into the Heart Of Reading (DITHOR) Program. In which case you'd need the DITHOR teachers manual and student book. I've also heard many positive things about the book list and project book that goes along with this program. Also if you decide to go with the DITHOR, you'll need to decide if you want to purchase the DITHOR book packs for your child to read independently. These area listed as level 2 or level 3 book packs. Or you can use your own books and/or the library with this program as well. You would simply need to choose the books for each genre.
Deluxe Package- These are for the storytime/read alouds that you
would be reading to your child and as Netpea suggested, you could try the library for these or if you wish to just have them on hand, purchase the packs.
For us, we decided to order the Economy, science, basic, and cheerful cursive. Money is a factor at the moment, so I made a list of all the genres as well as the suggested books. Then after checking my bookshelf whatever I don't have we will get from the library with the exception of a few I know the library doesn't have. My son is a great reader however we are opting out of the DITHOR at least for now. However I made a list of the suggested books for each genre and am going to get what I can from the library for him to read independently. From what I can see, it looks as though Bigger does have some discussion of character, setting, etc in the Bigger teacher manual. We're doing this for now and then if I think he needs more we'll possibly add DITHOR later.
It took me quite awhile to figure out what I needed as well. I hope I've helped clarify it a bit better for you.
Good luck and God Bless!
mom to 8yr old ds and joining the "Bigger Buddies" in the Fall!!
mom to 14yr old ds going into public high school in the Fall!!
Whew! It's getting late so forgive me for any spelling/grammar errors.