As children become more confident in their math skills, give them worksheets one grade level above their current grade. Help them if necessary, but when students become successful in the upper level workbooks; their confidence will really improve. The seed will be planted early and parents can watch as it grows.
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.
Elementary math is the building block on more complex topics that students must learn for the future. From simple addition and subtraction to telling time, it is a fundamental knowledge base used throughout life. Computers are also a basic fundamental building block for the future. Math programs integrate both.
The same general idea worked when it came to my son's Lego's! It was a great way to work on patterns and following directions! I would draw a pattern on paper for him to copy and recreate with his Legos. It not only helped with his color recognition, but his problem solving skills, fine motor skills and he didn't even know he was doing math!!