In Washington State, homeschoolers (a) submit an 'declaration of intent to homeschool' and (b) complete annual assessments.
These assessments serve two purposes: First, if anyone from the state ever comes knocking on our door because someone reported my kids out enjoying themselves during school hours rather than being chained to a desk, I can pull out my assessments and say, "See, I are learnin' them." Second, it gives us a yearly snapshot of how we are doing as compared to the previous year.
HERE'S THE PROBLEM. Okay, problems. First, what we are learning doesn't always line up perfectly with the test. My oldest missed some important stuff in public school. Rather than making sure we are at grade level for everything, we've been delving deep into the basics. If she doesn't have the basics right, why should we move on? (This is in contrast to those who graduate high school without adequate reading skills; who have to take Math 97, 98, and 99 at college before taking 'real classes,' and who cannot find the U.S. on a globe. Don't get me wrong: I feel bad for those young people. I just don't want my kids to be numbered among them.)
The next problems has to do with personalities. I have two kids. One is completely at ease with assessments. She'll fill in little circles with #2 pencil all day and be happy about it. Her assessment is going to come back with flying colors. My other kids has serious anxiety when it comes to assessments. (This was a big problem in public school.) I watched her work through her assessments. She would stare at questions, going over the possible answers again and again. Even when she knew the answer, she was afraid to mark it. What if it's wrong? I watched her overthink, then select the wrong answer. These were questions she does every day without any problem.
There was some useful information that popped up. Apparently, everything we learned about punctuation fled their brains over the summer. We'll be doing more than a quick review.