The best way to learn how to solder is to just start doing it, and that’s never been more affordable to do with cheap equipment and kits that allow you to get into electronics without breaking the bank.
This video shows a full build of a very cheap eBay kit from China, using a cheap soldering iron and stand to get an idea of how well they work. If you’re just starting soldering then I’d suggest getting a few of these kits as it means you can have another go if the first one doesn’t work, or just get some more practice in with the others and maybe also experiment with resistor values.
The materials required for starting soldering are a basic soldering iron and stand, some thin electronic-grade solder, preferably 60/40 tin/lead with flux, a pair of sharp side cutters and some kits and battery holders.
Apparently Farnell/CPC do have a USA division at www.newark.com with similar irons both grounded and ungrounded.
Here’s an eBay search for the kits:-
An eBay search for the battery holders:-
An eBay search for the basic side cutters:-