Turns out there IS a link to the dashboard from a blog's home page! It is up on the Blogger nav bar (the thin strip that runs across the top of the blog with the search box).
To get to the dashboard from your blog's home page (or any other Blogger blog for that matter), all you have to do is click on the orange Blogger icon on the far left. If you are not logged in, you will be directed to the login page.
I about smacked myself in the head when I figured this out. How easy is that???????
Customize Your Blogger Nav Bar