When my oldest daughter, now 22, was just starting out in her homeschooling journey, everything was fresh and new. Homeschooling was an adventure. I was young, all my kids were young, even the books and materials were brand new and crisp. After 16+ years of homeschooling much has changed. I'm 45, have two college kids, the books we used are getting worn, and I've taught six kids to read, page by page. It can be easy to get in a rut.

One thing we've learned is that we regularly need to mix things up. Throw in something exciting. Learn the same old things in a whole new way. Maybe even just prove that we're not like public schoolers once in a while.

Last week, we went to a roller rink in the middle of the day. On the first snow day, we have sledding school. On the first warm spring day, it's trampoline school or park school or something-other-than-sitting school. We go on field trips on gorgeous days when everyone else is in school and we do bookwork by the fire on miserable days when everyone else wants to be home. Another thing we have done is accumulate a mass of really great, educational games.

Games may not be typical school fair, but I'm convinced they can teach just as much. Which ones you choose will vary widely by family. What topics do you love? What ages are your children? I love word games and math games, but there are also a host of good geography games and history games — and games covering just about any topic. Look for games that have stood the test of time. Ask friends for recommendations. Read online reviews. Some gaming stores and libraries will even rent games so you can try them out before you buy.

In spite of our best intentions — and our extensive game inventory — we found game playing often took a back seat to other things. To remedy that, we scheduled two hours every week, in the middle of our "school day," for game playing. Since doing so, we've had regular rounds of games. It has also increased the game playing outside of official game time. As kids have learned the rules and found out how fun games can be, they are a bit less likely to run to a video game for entertainment.

When you are in charge of educating your children, there is no need to let homeschooling get boring! Listen to your children. Incorporate fun ways to learn. Enjoy these years you get to spend with the greatest little people on earth!

Author's Bio: 

Alison Moore Smith is a homeschooling mom of six amazing children, ages 6-22. Married for over 24 years, she and he husband are best friends and business partners.

Alison is a public speaker, author, blogger, web designer, singer, actress, ballroom dancer, and chocolate lover. She helps people start blogging and wants you to make your life amazing. Her goal is to always be ready for anything.