A Question to Ask Myself

With the little time and energy I have this evening, I settled into Jonathan Harnum's Basic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music. Near the beginning of the book there's an explanation about the parts of a note (note head and the stem) and how to position them on the staff. I'm not getting it though. It's too early in the game for me to learn this because I can't use it right away. Maybe that's what I need to ask myself every time I sit down to learn this, or anything for that matter: can I practice and/or apply this new information right away to see if it works? If not, I should probably skip it until I can. I also learned about rests, something I'm going to do now.