To test, or not to test? That is the question.

Do you test you kids regularly? Would you even if your state or school did not require it? My school does not require testing. This is our third year of homeschooling and I am just as torn about the question as the first. 

I believe testing is a skill that students need to have if they ever want to succeed in college. 
I would like to see where my kids stand on a national average.
I would like to find any gaps in their learning. 

I believe testing is flawed and can cause unneeded stress while they are still little. 
I don't really care where my kids rank. I care about them learning. 
I know their gaps are going to get filled anyway. 

So my solution for the time being is to give my kids the California Achievement Test at home unofficially.  I use released tests from previous years found on this website. Yes, it eats up my ink on the printer, but ordering the official test is costly too. If you prefer the official test, the best place I've seen to do this is Seton Testing Services. They mail a test for you to administer at home and send you the results once you've mailed back the materials. 

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