I choose "maybe"....because when my son was very young, we'd take him to Disney in January. We did this until he was in second grade. After that, the work load just seemed to be too much to handle -- plus the teachers weren't too happy about preparing the work beforehand.
They were some of the best vacations of our life, to be honest! Not dealing with the crowds was a pure joy!
I also chose "maybe" because if the right situation presented itself, I would do it. I did take my oldest (then only) out of pre-school for Disney one January. My parents took me out when I was older for a couple of special events - like the Super Bowl! If I had one of those once in a life time opportunities, I would do it and not think twice.
But for the most part, with a 6 year difference in age, I can no longer take my youngest out without impact the older's school work. I am lucky in that their school has an early spring break (1st or 2nd week of March) and they are usually out at the end of May or the first week in June...so most kids are still in school. So, I try to work around school times and have been very fortunate so far.
We have done so a couple of times. Usually it is only one day and after attendance is taken and right leading up to Christmas, Spring Break, or Summer breaks.
DD left early a couple times last school year for doctor/dentist and once on the last day to go to the dude ranch with her cousins from Alaska. Left early a while back for the start of a WDW vacation.
DD is pretty keen on getting the Perfect Attendance Award, and did this past school year...the year before she got nixed from the award because she got the flu...she was pretty upset about not getting the award.
Sometimes we head out the extra day early to grab a bargain but make sure she makes it at least part of the school day...of course if she were not in a highly accelerated program we would probably take her out for a few days a year since she would not fall behind. Sadly at her school missing can take a lot of time to catch up.
I love traveling. I've been to Dinsey at all different times of the year with Christmas being my favorite. I've been to six continents and hope to very soon visit Antarctica. Australia and Fiji are among my all time favorite foreign destinations.
Probably the most notable trip was October 2002, when we were at Bali the night of the first bombing there. *** You will find me on Cruise Critic as well with the same user name. Happy Travels to all!!!
Past Trips (Most recent first):
Aug09 WDW Week; June-July09 RCCL AK Cruise, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Disney Land and Four Corners region; Apr09 RCCL Voyager of the Seas; Feb09 RCCL Mariner of the Seas; Dec08-Jan09 Voyager of the Seas; Oct98 Fiji's Matangi Resort; May-June85 UK & France vacation; many others before these.
Neither of my kids are in school yet but I think I might take them out of school if it was a really special thing. But I guess a lot would depend also on the kind of student they are and if I could link it to school like have them do a travel report or assignment about where we were going. I don't know...something I'll have to face eventually I'm sure!
I voted maybe-it really depends on the circumstances. We have taken our kids out of school 3 times for what we considered big trips. They were both in a private school so the school was very flexible working with them to get caught up on what they missed. As they have gotten older though, it's really hard for them to miss the classroom teaching element. You can't make that up (and I can't teach!)
Our last time taking them out was this past January when we had the opportunity to go with a group to Ecuador and then cruise the Galapagos Islands. Truly a once in a lifetime trip so we pulled them out with a little trepidation. The 8th grader had no problem missing 8 days of school but it killed my 6th grader. This was going to be the last time we pulled them out anyway because the older one will be in an accelerated public high school program next year (2 weeks actually!) and he can't miss school so it won't be an issue for us anymore. (They are very sad because we are talking about going on a couple of trips with this same group without them!)
Living in Florida, we have friends who will pull their kids out to go to Disney for the day and I really disagree with that since we can go so many other times (same with the beach). However, since our spring break is so late many families pull their kids for a super long weekend to go skiing.
I voted maybe because family vacations should be all about having a great time with your family, and while my 7-yr old may not care that much, if I'm standing in line at DisneyWorld for an hour and a half to ride a two minute ride, I'm not having a great time. That's just poor use of time to me. I'd rather take my kid out of school for a week and enjoy myself, and everybody has a more relaxing trip and gets to do more because we didn't spend all day in line for six rides. Now as he gets older I may change my tune due to the higher difficulty of homework. We took my daughter to DW when she was 10 and we were up til midnight or 1 every night doing the homework that her mother so graciously procured ahead of time.
DD (almost 14YO) is in 8th grade. She is taking Sophomore Geometry, Freshman Physics, and a high school AP Lit class. We usually travel over Thanksgiving -- while she has 3.5 days off school at that time, she generally needs to miss 3 or 4 days if we take a long trip. She's missed at least three days the past 4 years (Hawaii, Italy, Greece, Spain, Panama) and will again this year (Greece and Turkey).
If DD was struggling in school, I might reconsider taking her out of school. Or if we were simply going to sit out in the sun or to go to an amusement park -- it might be a tougher call (although the amusement park is a great place to learn about physics ).
Her teachers have been pretty understanding, and she does a great job not just "making up" her work, but really applying what she has learned.
I have pulled my kids out of school in the past mostly because I feel that I can provide more of an experience than the school can. We were former homeschoolers and when we put the kids into brick and mortar school, we had already booked a few trips in advance mostly due to budget needs. I was able to get the kids out of school with approval due to the way I wrote the educational leave request. The school never fought me on it. I also prepared the kids on the history, culture and geography of where we were going so that they could apply the information to what they saw when we got to our destination. Even though we are going away for spring break this year (I finally learned how to sync our days with the schools) I will be requesting an educational leave just in case we have snow make up days which always takes away from our spring break days. I am a true believer of using the world as our classroom.