I teach crochet - a lot.
I've been teaching classes full of new crocheters for about 5 years on a regular basis. I find, that the students who UNDERSTAND crochet rather than just following directions about crochet have a far easier times making patterns and learning new skills.
One of the basic things that is helpful for crochet students to fully understand is making a flat circle. SO many patterns begin with a flat circle, rugs, hats, baskets, mandalas, etc. etc... Crochet pattern directions are written in all manner of ways - two people might explain the same thing very differently. It's extremely confusing for students who are just learning to follow a pattern. It's very helpful if a student can disregard badly written directions and understand - aha! this person is creating a flat circle... a lot of the poorly worded text can then be avoided and just the very necessary elements can be concentrated on - it's much less frustrating in the long run.
I've recently written a lot of hat patterns. I want to share the patterns but find it so tiresome to write out all the directions step by repetitive step of starting the hat pattern in a flat circle - sometimes I want to just say - make a flat circle with 8hdcs in the first round until it measures whatever... SO MUCH EASIER! and most confident crocheters will know exactly what I'm telling them to do.
I really want to teach my students to understand the flat circle so I came up with this basic lesson. Granted - this is NOT what I teach students the first week... we have a whole learning process - but by the time they are ready to tackle a hat, it's time to learn.
I hope this little write up and explanation might help anyone who has never had an "aha moment" about the flat circle.