In addition to good teachers and involved parents, children should be involved in extracurricular activities that support math. In the state of Michigan, students can join a club at their school that plays a game called Academic Games. This form of gaming is challenging for children. It helps them to develop their academic skills as well as their math skills. Children can start playing these games as early as the second grade. This form of gaming will teach children how to play the game of Equations, a form of Algebra, at the age of seven. These skills are called Higher Order Thinking Skills.
Use things around the house that they already know and love! : My son has a HUGE adoration for his Thomas Trains... he can tell you every single trains name, number and color. When we started working on recognizing numbers and colors, I tried to use posters, games, workbooks, etc that would help him learn to recognize them... all to no avail! One day, we were playing with his trains, and HE asked me what number one of the trains was. Bells went off in my head and I realized that I could cater his natural curiosity about his beloved trains, and still be 'teaching' him to recognize numbers at the same time!
Some of the software is developed in a game format. Children will think that they are playing a game, but in reality are actually learning math. Technology can be great, but I must warn parents to not allow children to spend a lot of unsupervised time on the computer.
In order to develop a student that has good math skills, a parent must play a key role in the learning process. In addition to parents, teachers and other family members are very important to a child's mathematical development.