Life in the Middle Ages was structured by a strict caste system which dictated how people interacted and what sort of role they performed in society. At the bottom of the societal ladder were the peasants--slaves, serfs and freemen. Slavery began to decline during the Middle Ages, but serfs were much the same thing.
A serf was bound to the land and owned by the Lord of the Manor until the serf had completed one year and one day of service. After completing their required period of service, serfs became freemen who could own small pieces of land and were no longer under the forceful hand of the feudal lord.
The peasant class worked hard during the Middle Ages. In addition to working the land of the feudal lord, peasants were expected to perform repairs on the roads, around the manor and to take up the role of blacksmith, carpenter and tanner as well.
The average peasant lived in a small cottage in towns or on farms near the lord's manor and subsisted on a diet of bread, stew and vegetables. Occasionally, peasants were rewarded with a bit of meat or, if they were lucky, they could catch fish to supplement their unchanging diets.
Schooling was not a large part of peasant life during the Middle Ages, but some children were lucky enough to attend a school run by the local parish church. Though life was hard for the peasants of the Middle Ages, they managed to survive and even made time to enjoy life during holidays and to celebrate births and marriages.