We took my dd out in 2011 for 2 weeks - in January when she was in 4th grade. We spent a week in WDW and then a week on the Magic. But - we had permission and full support from the school who recognized what we had gone through that year. DMIL had been diagnosed and suffered for 6 mos. with brain cancer before passing away. My inlaws lived 3 1/2 hours away and the school watched us and supported us as we drove back and forth while we went through surgeries and rehabilitation and then finally hospice. And just a few months later, dfil passed away of heart failure unexpectedly. They were ages 63 and 67. DH spent most of the year in Afghanistan and traveling all of the world for work and had done so previously and his parents were always helping with the kids. Losing those 2 people in 10 months shell shocked our family. When we decided we needed time together, away from it all, to heal ourselves - the school and community supported us completely. That said, I do plan vacations when we are able to go; dh still travels the world and is gone for weeks at a time. I have a rule that I do it when it is a short week - so for example, we are booked next Memorial Day week so it is less impactful. Also, my kids know that school work comes first and grades have to be maintained and kept up if a vacation is booked and they expect to go. That January trip in WDW - we did all of DD's homework every morning before hitting the parks, so that we didn't have to do any work on the cruise. We stressed the importance of keeping up with schoolwork. I believe there is a balance and if you teach your children right, then it can work out. If you abuse the system, then you are teaching your children that school is not important. Its all about the examples parents set.