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: 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: 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