(you can omit *creating* windows here, since this is a painful task made much easier by frameworks - but the rest is important to understand and makes working with the MFC easier).
GDI, standard controls etc.
Do the MFC "Scribble" tutorial, just following the main path (up to "printing" or so). Don't try to understand everything, just get a feeling for the "flow".
Do the "Scribble" tutorial again, this time exploring the background explanations etc.
Chapter (II) Become a Pro
Notice that, once you are here, you are the last remaining person on earth doing MFC
Learn enhanced concepts: Exception Safety, Patterns etc. and all the fine parts I have forgotten above
Learn "Industry Power" stuff: Automated Tests, Version Control, Finalizing, and everything that belongs to running a larger project.
<b>Warning:</b> this course is a pain. In the ass, in the back, in your fingers, everywhere. Yet, it's IMO one of the shorter routes to a pro. To be true, you could start with th MFC stuff pretty much after (I)-(j), but this makes you only half-a-programmer, and you might acquire some misfeats that are hard to get rid of later.
The order of the list itself clearly shows some drawbacks of the C++ language, namely, the position of exceptions, and especially the STLBoth are standard tools that should be introduced much earlier, but require good understanding of the basic language features.
*) I pretty much agree with the thought that understanding pointers needs a certain "wiring" of the brain. All other stuff in C++ can be learned by a decently intelligent person. Pointers are different, you either get them, or you don't. If you can't do pointers, C++ will be a pain all the time.
**) that's really late, to late. They are an important tool for error handling - and people should learn it as early as possible. However, it doesn't make much sense wihtout a good grasp on scope and code flow. I would do exceptions right after (b), but books/courses don't do it without classes.
we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is Vonnegut jr.