We should teach our children and ourselves to always work toward a standard of excellence in everything we do - not to strive for a B or an A. For bright over-achievers, an A takes very little effort and we have done them no favors by awarding an A to them if they have not strived for excellence. These arbitary grades mean different things to each unique child and take varying levels of effort for each person to achieve them. In my opinion, grades are RIDICULOUS (I will explain more later about this) - but if the umbrella school requires them, just write down a series of objectives that your children must meet to achieve a grade in each subject. Such as:
Completion of X number of books in each subject, and list them.
Participation in daily class discussion.
Attitude toward assignments and subjects
Neatness in all assignments
Completion of all assignments on a timely basis
Organizational skills in each subject and for all assignments
Overall understanding of subject upon completion of unit
Any tests that you make up and give can be graded and added to this list
I have just listed the objectives that teachers grade on in school every year. Why can't they apply to the LA work? Go through each objective before you begin your year so that your children will know what is expected of them. For each objective, give a scale of 1-5, for each grade letter. Jot down notes for each during the quarter and remind your children that they need to be working harder in some areas and encourage them with positive feedback in other areas. (We do this anyway, don't we?) Then, at the end of the quarter, "grade" them on their performance level for each. I would have my kids go through the information in the unit books and make up their own individual tests (including the answers), study them, and then be able to answer orally all the questions they included. This is an EXCELLENT learning tool when they do it themselves - MUCH better than teacher-made tests. Unless you have a high schooler and have to provide grades, or are required by your district/state to provide grades for all of your children - why waste your time on them?