My best advice would be to start on much smaller circuits and play around. For instance, making a switch - battery - LED - resistor - ground would be a good start, then try to add some more LEDs in parrallel, see how to play with series circuits a bit.
It takes a bit of time to start seeing schematics and the circuits that come from them as the same thing.
A really neat project is to make a simple H-Bridge that alternately either turns on a motor or some LEDs (it doesn't really matter, the H-Bridge is just a switch :-P). This way you'll get to learn to work with transistors as well, which have a more complicated wiring method than simple components and helped me a lot to work with all manner of strange components haha. In fact, I recommend making an H-bridge as a starting project, it will REALLY help.
But the bottom line is: practice and start small. The $50 robot is a learning experience, but trying to put something complex together without doing the basics to learn isn't a great idea!