First, a little background. I am not--repeat, not--a linguist. Oh, I thought about that major, way back, but didn't end up pursuing it. I've always been interested in languages, roots, connections, pronunciation, etc. And it is entirely possible that I passed along these interests to my kids during the years we did homeschooling.
However it came to be, my daughter ended up getting her degree in--you guessed it--linguistics. This actually worked out well for me, as she did the heavy work, and I got the benefit of a few of the interesting tidbits.
As it turns out, my upbringing leaned heavily on the side of prescriptivism, and this is how I raised and taught my own kids as well. What does that mean? Basically, the correctness of our language follows several prescribed rules; if you break any of them you will be considered uneducated (or worse!).
Linguistics, on the other hand, tends to lean toward describing the way language is actually spoken, not the way it is "supposed" to be spoken. I was informed (nicely) that I am predominantly a prescriptivist, and my daughter realizes that she is too.
So, you know all those grammar "rules" that people keep breaking? Maybe it doesn't really matter. (Well, of course many still do matter After all, language has to make sense.) A lot of that concept of "rules" seems to hark back to British royalty. Whatever the king (or queen) and his/her court deemed to be proper English was, and if you didn't keep up with that you were considered some kind of country bumpkin. I'm told that the word "ain't," for example, was a perfectly acceptable word in the English language--until it wasn't anymore.
The proper way to "ask" for something was to "axe" for it (not sure if that was spelled with an "e" or not). Interesting that "axe" in that usage is coming back, at least in some dialects.
And what about the infamous "me and my friend went to the store"? According to my daughter the linguist, that was actually the proper way to speak in an earlier time, and many of us still tend to revert back to that usage. Furthermore, as an interesting offshoot from that "rule," people seem to try so hard not to be guilty of the "me and my brother rode bikes" error that they tend to use the word "I" even where it doesn't belong. This happens to be one of my personal pet peeves. For instance, "they gave a lovely gift to my wife and I." Now honestly, would you say, "they gave a lovely gift to I"? Of course not. So it should be, "they gave a lovely gift to my wife and me." But perhaps some people fear a "grammar police" accusation of a crime against the English language. And so the issue becomes more and more confused.
Getting back to the original question, while I might say I am a recovering prescriptivist, I think I'm still a long way from being purely a descriptivist. How about you?