Historical Foundations of Early Childhood Education 
The Middle Ages, generally known as the time between the fall of the Roman Empire around the 5th century and the Renaissance, lasted somewhere around 1000 years. During this time, books were scarce and literacy uncommon. The only means of reproduction of written materials was by hand, a painstaking process usually accomplished by monks in monasteries. Children lucky enough to be chosen as oblates were educated by monks and were considered to be the future of the monastery. Their education was thought to be an important element of the communities activities. Males and females were given the same education in grammar as well as the liberal arts, however were educated separately. The psychology of young children was understood and appreciated by their educators, giving way to the ideas of fostering a 'love of learning' and the abandonment of harsh physical punishment. The monks included singing, laughing, and play in the daily life at the monastery. Children were exposed to bright, colored manuscripts and were encouraged to develop a sense of beauty and aesthetics. Later in the Middle Ages, some monks did not live on the monastery, instead incorporating into the villages and working among the poor, often providing education and care to orphans and abandoned children. In wealthy, noble families, boys were generally sent away from home to work as servants, or pages, while the girls would stay home and learn domestic arts. In poorer families, children as young as three years old learned to work, to tend the land and work in kitchens and gardens, going on to formally learn their parents trades at around seven years old.