You might also try using a circular needle instead of the traditional two, Todash. You can still knit back/forth with them, you just don't join the ends to form the circle, and it's a little less unwieldy than trying to manipulate the separate needles especially first starting out with learning how.
I agree with this. I learned on a circular needle. I now like the tradtional needles better but I am so glad I used the circular to start. And I still use them for larger projects.