North Carolina officials say there has been a huge increase over the past two years in the number of Tar Heel families who have pulled their kids out of public schools and begun educating them at home.

The number of homeschools has jumped 27 percent since the 2011-12 school year, reports. As of last year, 98,172 North Carolinian children were homeschooled; that's 2,400 students more than the number who attended a private school.

While the sputtering economy is the reason families are choosing homeschooling over private schooling, the nationalized learning experiment (Common Core) is the main reason families are leaving the public schools in the first place. "Common Core is a big factor that I hear people talk about," Beth Herbert, founder of Lighthouse Christian Homeschool Association, told

"They're not happy with the work their kids are coming home with. They've decided to take their children home." In-the-know parents understand that Common Core's plodding approach to math instruction leaves students unprepared for college study in STEM courses - science, technology, engineering and math.

These same parents also realize that the nationalized learning standards' emphasis of nonfiction, "informational" texts over classic literature is intended to mold students into drone-like workers, not out-of-the-box thinkers. For some homeschool parents, it's the Common Core-related standardized testing that they're trying to protect their kids from. Whatever the particular reason, it all adds up to a significant exodus from the public schools.

Homeschooling doesn't mean kids have to miss all the social and sports-related aspects of traditional schools. Communities with a significant number of homeschoolers offer extracurricular activities for families.

Homeschooling was legalized by the state Supreme Court in 1985. In the days before Common Core, most homeschool families chose to leave the government-run schools because they were too secular, violent and crowded, the news site notes. It'll be interesting to see if the homeschool surge levels off once state education leaders revise and replace the worst parts of Common Core, as state lawmakers recently directed them to do.

But North Carolinians shouldn't be surprised if it continues to grow, as homeschool parents share their success stories with others. "It was scary at first," homeschool parent Melissa Lopez told the news site, adding that her New York friends were skeptical when they heard her plan. "Up North it's not as common as it is down here so I always thought it was a crazy idea. But once I said, 'I'm not asking for opinions - I'm doing it,' they see it's worked out for us," Lopez said.