We are working on simplifying our shore lives some. In fact, this is a process we're going through right now. But, part of the reason we're delaying is so we can enjoy some of the complexities of shore life, including land pursuits and hobbies.
We have owned a couple of more complex boats, both West Wight Potters. The 19' was in a local marina. But, while we love sailing, we decided that was more boat than we wanted to fuss with during our landlubber years and it tied us to the local reservoir which isn't pretty and is full of powerboats. We'd rather spend weekends camping in the mountains, bicycle riding, hiking, backpacking - and using our daysailer at various places. We hope to live on a sailboat for a couple of decades at least! We are trying to become fairly self-sufficient around the house, handling repairs ourselves, etc. My husband did do some upgrades and repairs, including fiberglass work, on our WWP19.
We will not be pulling the kids out of school. They'll never be in school. They'll always be homeschooled, before and after we set sail. But, they will indeed have a strong community here. They will have friends. That'll be tough, but it'd be tough when they left for college, too. I believe that we are doing this for them. We picked 11 years to ensure that our daughter got several years aboard. Sure, they won't get to play high school soccer, but they'll have a far more exciting and enriching experience. As for my daughter wanting to be a scientist, I don't see why that's incompatible with sailing? She will be schooled by us. We both have genius IQs and college degrees. I think we'll do OK schooling her - probably better than the local high school. (She's already ahead of her peers in learning at age two.) Nowadays colleges respect and actively recruit homeschooled children. We'll even have a microscope (got one all picked out) aboard. Our nieces and nephews are spending their high school years hanging out at the mall, smoking, doing drugs, worrying about pregnancy and wrecking cars. (One niece was quite popular with lots of friends and she's a train wreck with a bunch of problems. She's also superficial, irresponsible, materialistic and unfocused. She graduated from high school, but I wouldn't consider her particularly well educated.) Ours will be crew members on our boat, learning much more about the world, having responsibilities and learning foreign languages. Everything I've read about cruising kids has nothing but the highest praise for them. Few things I read about your average high school kid in America is so glowing.
I like the idea of a longer term sabbatical. It's not impossible, but might involve quitting the job completely and hoping to get a replacement if we come back ashore.