Look for games and puzzles that are part of an adaptive learning program. This means that the online games are well-thought out and match the same set of skills that are being taught in the third grade curriculum. The program is structured toward each individual student and fills in the gaps where the child is struggling.
Homeschool worksheets are a vital part of the student's homeschool experience. They allow the child to test his or her knowledge, and they offer them a practical application for their learning.
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.
By the time your child is ready for kindergarten or school, they should be able to recognize their own name and other simple written words. The sounds of each letter of the alphabet should be familiar to your child, and they should understand the principle of reading from left to right, which way to hold a book, and possibly even be starting to read three and four-letter words.