the three Rs

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the three Rs

The three tenets of education traditionally considered the most basic or essential: reading, writing, and arithmetic. (So named for the prominent "R" sound at the beginning of each word.) When a school begins seeing major performance issues across the three Rs, then it is time to revise its curriculum and teaching style.
See also: RS, three

three R's

The fundamentals of education, as in It's a terrible school; the children are not even taught the three R's. It is widely believed that Sir William Curtis, an alderman who became Lord Mayor of London, once presented a toast to the three R's-reading, riting, and rithmetic-thereby betraying his illiteracy. In any event, the term was picked up by others and so used from the early 1800s on.
See also: three

the three Rs

reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic, regarded as the fundamentals of elementary education.
See also: RS, three

the three ˈR’s

(old-fashioned) reading, writing and arithmetic as the basic school subjects
When you say these three subjects, they all have the sound /r/ at or near the beginning of the word.
See also: three

three Rs, the

Basic education. This term may have been coined by Sir William Curtis (1752–1829). According to several sources, this illiterate alderman, who became Lord Mayor of London, presented a toast to the three Rs: Reading, Riting, and Rithmetic. Whether or not this tale is true, the term was picked up by others and became current in the early nineteenth century.
See also: three