An online friend asked me a question about testing. So here is the long and short of how I handle this in our home.
We do a lot of narration where I have the children to reiterate back to me what they have learned. When they are older they write about what they have learned. This then multiplies into being their writing, spelling, grammar, etc. Narration is a technique from the Charlotte Mason method. If you have never read anything of her's you might would benefit from The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. Rarely do I test! I do make up questions with some subjects such as economics and government. The children's grades are based on attitude, diligence, a general understanding and overall daily work but hardly ever tests. We did do CAT testing through our homeschool group for a few years. Since then I have not seen the point in it. It is not required by the state that we live in either. Once the children are interested in the subjects they're learning, which is half the battle, they learn so much more out of the interest versus making them memorize nit-picky facts that don't mean a hill of beans later. They will remember what they enjoy so much more than what they have to know just to fill in the blanks. Living, whole books are much more interesting than textbooks. Sometimes I do read the textbooks aloud, but you know, I add lib A LOT due to the dryness of the text.
Lenni, please send me your blog address if you still have one. I enjoyed reading yours long ago. Last I read it was when you all were redoing your kitchen. :)