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Emily W. Jensen: Bloggernacle Back Bench: Back-to-school blogs

If

the many bloggers talking about school-related issues is any

indication, then it's back-to-school time in the blogs. And whether you

have children in school, are in school yourself, or just want to

enhance your educational capabilities, then the Bloggernacle is here to

point out learning opportunities, teach fascinating lessons or even

just let parents write wistfully/happily about their children's

back-to-school adventures.

First day: \"May

your teacher recognize you for what you are - my precious, precious

LITTLE PRINCE.\" This beautiful sentiment begins a sort of school poem

or prayer from a mother to her kindergarten-bound son.

\"The first day of a l-o-n-g thirteen years\" is heartbreakingly sweet

and you come away hoping for the same things for the new student.

Sunday homework: Why shouldn't I do homework on Sunday? Actually, explain the LDS Why

Bloggers, \"The Lord and His prophets have left it to our judgment — for

the most part — to determine what is and is not appropriate on the

Sabbath day.\" However, \"doing homework on Sunday can possibly lead us

away from the purposes of the Sabbath: distracting our minds from the

things of God, taking away time to serve others through our callings,

and keeping us from spending valuable time with family.\" And they cite

quotes and reasons for sacrificing, if you can, your earlier weekend

time to keep Sunday homework free.

After-school snacks:

What do you feed those hungry kids storming in from a full and fun day of school? Try this healthy after school snack of Chocolate

Chip Oatmeal Banana Muffins that uses ingredients from your food

storage. Mmm! Or, check out the many comments listing recipes and links

to find other great back-to-school recipes.

Mormon Lepidopterology:

Lepidopterology?

Why, that's the study of butterflies and moths. See you're already

learning something. And how does Mormon fit in, why in \"Bugged\" Kaimi features, in glorious photographic color, many

butterflies and moths with \"Mormon\" in their name. Impressive,

beautiful, and educational, all wrapped into one post.

Teaching goals:

These \"New (School) Year's Resolutions\" warmed my heart as I imagine that

most, if not all, teachers set goals for themselves in an effort to be

the best they can be so as to teach the children the most they can

teach.

And it's even better to blog about it so that there can be a record of which to measure your progress in meeting the goal.

Competitive role:

One mom describes her creative and perfectionist drive to produce \"The

Best Work on Butcher Paper Ever\" on the floor of her child's

Kindergarten classroom only to wonder why she wanted to be \"the best?

Bound and determined to knock everyone else's project out of the park?

What is going on here? How can I become, in under a minute, completely

and utterly obsessed with having the superlative butcher paper outline

of a child to hang on a wall.\" As one commentor put it, competition

\"can be very helpful when motivating, I just have to remember to aim

this feature of mine in the right direction and let some things slide.\"

Now let's see what else can we learn from this past week in the Bloggernacle:

Power pick: Consecrate Your Brain.

What a cool title for a series by Greg Smith featured over at Life

on Gold Plates. What does it mean to consecrate your brain? In

relationship to knowledge and expectations, how do church members react

to difficult questions? Click to read his intriguing answers, but as a

teaser: \"Many of us crave certainty. If we can simply read what a

Church leader says, and obey without question or thought or struggle

over some of the messy complications of life, there is a certain

comfort to that. Realizing that a Church leader is not perfect suddenly

throws the responsibility back on our shoulders.\"

Quiz time: It's

time to dust off your pencils for a fun little quiz (and one that makes

the rounds through the Bloggernacle from time to time) that \"spits out

a list (with percentages) of religions that are well-matched for you

and the beliefs you proclaimed in the quiz.\" So think you're 100%

Mormon? Well, you might be surprised. Maybe you share beliefs with the

Quakers or maybe you're more New Age. While definitely not a true

measure (what online quiz is?) of anyone's religious leanings, the \"Belief-o-Matic (registered trademark)\" quiz is entertaining and may

promote a religious conversation in your household!

Techie tip: Free. Online. Courses. How cool is that? The

BYU Independent Study program offers these free online courses for anyone interested. Classes in such areas as \"Family

History, Family Life, and Religious Scripture Study...Use these courses

as a starting point for your personal studies or just to add insight to

an area of interest.\" I even saw a Bowling class. And be sure to click

on the box advertising the Open

CourseWare classes that include even more opportunities to discover.

While none of these courses offered by the BYU Independent Study are

for credit, they can nevertheless keep you learning your whole life

long.