Yes, laws, do it.. I even saw a fellow mother at a homeschooling group/yes join one... go through web.. break out a list of each year the VA requirements per kid. She is an unschooler but she prepares very well with books and she said it gives her insight into what kids are usually interested in and what they *can* do in that setting and what she should consider buying.. from the looks of her home it seems like learning toys.
The most important thing you need to do for standards and so forth is explore how you are going to get your game on. I am doing this right now and the most important person I have to communicate with is my dearest husband which is helping (and a whole other huge topic). I see moms using all kinds of mediums. Blogging, journeling, making teacher planners and also maybe using the same booklet or file box for tracking a child's progress, using a calendar and really planning out their time to the letter (them more so kids), some moms take a ton of pictures and use this as a resource too. It seems to spill right on over into having spaces in the home where these learning toys will go. Since your son is in a school year age now, I would piggie back anything you already do now, like adding a page in a planner for ideas and another one for experiences you did that had learning. If you live in a state like TX, then you have all the time in the world and all this stuff is just for you and your sanity. Go slowly because it is soon going to change and you will get in to your own groove.
And the spaces? That one is a nice treat to move into for a 5 year old. It seems helpful to have either an empty dresser for supplies, filings, a few books, or a shelf. I use a dresser and my children can reach and open. It is filled with art supplies. One drawer is for junk and it is basically for me to empty my pockets after a long day and then put away the little things when I get a chance. I need way more for math if I want to use learning toys (I think so)... So space or a blank space is a great start.
The next big huge thing I did.. which you may seriously want to plan for after Christmas, is to check out and request ALL the homeschooling books you can get your hands on - that seem semi up to date OR very appealing titles. Once you get this giant heap. Take one, feel the vibe, flip it open to a random page, read just a little, and then go to the table of contents. Then make a pile, going back and keeping on. Return the going back pile ASAP. Then get the interesting pile and try your very best to read either 10 pages or 1 chapter. This will help you find some teachers and everything will fit with these kinds of books/authors/guides. Once you find this out buying, making, or researching a curriculm is WAY narrowed then before. This will also help you ask questions and when people talk about their family, you will be briefed on tons before hand. I have found that my family, each member is a pure mix of learners and it is very easy for me to open up in those directions and not every direction. After I read some from the books I had a highlighted lists of ways of learning, teachers/guides to consider drawing from to learn; this is like some Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Waldorf or Classical, and many more. I also know by visiting homes that the learning toys available have a strong influence too.
Budget.. in a way I am finding this to narrow our choices again. I am not sad in anyway because my family is together (we are tons lucky). I am finding that I have to make some choices about how I will invest. As a unschooling heart (my *wub* books were all unschooling ones!) I am deeply considering saving money on the side for my children to buy into their own education, meaning, buy a learning tool each month other than classes. Classes, clubs, and volunteering I am very on guard about. It is so much to do with how I want to just be as a family and many other values way to long for this post. They are awesome, but life, to me in a soulemama kind of way, takes a lot of effort and time to polish the relationships we have. Even if my child wants to make a gift, it is the power of their own will to do so and finish, plus my dear belief in love as a religion... and anyway, that is where homeschooling gets very, very deep! In an amazing way!