Now, here are some solutions to this problem.
The first thing I do when I'm teaching kids about money is to start with the big picture. For that, I use a powerpoint I made, with the permission of the school Principal at that time, talking about the value of an education. I use that as a jumping point to talk about what kind money they can make based on the level of education.
Since many of these kids don't really understand that kind of money just yet, I used an excel spreadsheet to break down the national average amounts of earnings per level of degree and after taxes and using the budget I show the kids, give the amount per month that each earning level has for housing. I plugged each earning level for the housing budget into the powerpoint and included pictures of what kind of homes (at 2007 values) they could afford based on each earning level. What kind of home can you afford as a high school dropout, versus the home afforded by someone with a professional degree? The more education, the better the houses got. The kids are by this point wanting those nicer homes, so then I tell them that in order to have those nicer homes, they not only need to be making the money, but they need to know how to manage it.
The first part, which is already covered in 2nd and 3rd grades, is the basics of counting the coins and bills. For this we go to these web sites:
Then we make things get a little harder:
Count The Money
As you can see, these are some pretty good sites for counting money. But, with the first site, it's no longer being maintained, as the university program that made it is no longer functioning. With the Harcourt site, you may need the password to get into it, which you can't get unless you purchase the Harcourt textbooks. None of this is sponsored by the Dept. of Ed.
The second class period I use a SmartBoard lesson I created to show students how to count change correctly. Have you ever been to a store where someone hands you the change, based upon the calculations of a machine? Have you ever wondered if those calculations are correct? The key to counting change correctly is to start at the amount owed, and then use coins and bills to work your way up to the amount paid. I demonstrate this using fake bills and coins on the SmartBoard lesson. Then I have them spend at least 2 class sessions (30 minutes each) counting up their change on this site:
After they have mastered counting the money, now they are ready to manage the money.
I show them some videos provided by Discovery Education (you have to be an educator to get access to these) on simple and compound interest.
Then I have them go to this site on generating compound interest, so they can see how their money can grow:
Compound Interest Calculator
By this time, they are ready to move on to budgeting. Budgeting is about choices:
Feed The Pig
Going To The Market
Welcome To Fedville
One of the best sites that gives all around guidance for kids is not from the government, it's from a non-profit called TheMint.org.
Once they've completed this series, they can look at the school's Delicious page under finance for more sites that I've found for them:
Laird Leopard Finance