LOL, I remember when I was younger, my Mom made us hold it. And we all used to HATE it and it was so boring.
But yeah, just put each end over both your knees and try and go around and around. Make sure you have both ends and see which end seems to come off the hank the easiest.
If you are really getting into knitting, I would invest in a yarn swift and ball winder. It is an investment, but well worth it.