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Become a Money Master: Financial Education for Youth (Student Workbook and Leader Guide)

By Lisa Dworkin
Money Masters Foundation

835 Shermer Road
Northbrook, IL 60062

Fiscal responsibility is a life skill I certainly want my children to learn. This two-binder set (one the Student Workbook, the other the Leader Guide) teaches students about the stock market, consumerism, creating and managing an income, budgeting and spending, banking, credit, and investments. The materials do not say, but I think this would be appropriate for middle and senior high schoolers.

A big part of this curriculum is the "Money Masters' Classroom Economy," which is a teacher-created store where students can spend the money they earn in class. Extension Activities are provided in the Leader Guide. These include a list of children's books on various money topics, a research project, and a role-playing activity.

All the masters you will need to reproduce for your classroom are included: parent letter, student "money," certificate of achievement, and all the worksheets and tests. Answers are provided for all assignments and tests. Because the Leader Guide includes the same pages that are in the student workbook with answers highlighted in yellow, correcting work should be a breeze. Become a Money Master is slanted toward a classroom situation, but homeschoolers could certainly implement it. The end of the Leader Guide contains a list of national learning standards in the curriculum and a list of national learning standards by unit.

There is not much information on how the instructor is to integrate the student book and the teacher's manual, nor are there specific lesson plans. This curriculum would work best for someone who doesn't need or want a lot of hand-holding during the teaching process. In fact, the author says, "The number of ways the curriculum can be presented is virtually unlimited. Use your imagination, student interests, and your time parameters to configure a curriculum that best meets your and your students' needs."

I had a problem with the three-ring binders: they open easily but close too easily. So be careful you don't get your fingers pinched! Also, unit nine, which covers credit, is interesting. Several examples of when it may be prudent to borrow are given. Parents will certainly want to discuss their personal perspectives and experiences with their children on this controversial topic.

Become a Money Master provides a good framework for a money management course. You can take what works and personalize the curriculum to your specific needs.


Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, November 2010

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