Ideally, children who have been introduced to reading modeling behavior enter kindergarten and first grade ready and eager to read on their own. For most children, the formal teaching of reading begins in these grades. Most educators, homeschool or otherwise, use a combination of phonics programs, worksheets, and actual books to teach reading. These are all tried and true methods and can result in reading success. A relatively new methodology, syllabics, extends the focus of phonics programs on the sounds associated with the consonant letters to simple rules for correctly using the variable sounds associated with the vowels.
When your child is ready, move on to pencil and paper. Build confidence by letting your preschooler trace simple lines and shapes, then proceed to letters. You can eventually teach your child to write his name by letting him trace or copy it daily. If your child needs help remembering how to spell her name, practice with fridge magnets, letter tiles or alphabet blocks.
Almost everything you do with your child can be turned into an opportunity to learn - and worksheets can give you the guidance you need to find those opportunities.
Do choose worksheets that are appropriate for the child's level, since children can get discouraged easily, if they are unable to perform the activity. Well illustrated worksheets with cartoons are also more likely to appeal to children. Worksheets that use common situations children come across at home, school, in the market place etc and that use common objects known to children would be more relevant.